Rep. Joe Barton (R-Tex.), ranking member of the House Energy & Commerce Committee, has sent letters to the heads of a number of federal agencies, including the Federal Communications Commission, after reports of a dramatic rise in the number of federal workers making over $100,000.
For one thing, Barton wants to know whether money from the Recovery Act was used to boost federal salaries.
Barton asked FCC chairman Julius Genachowski, as well as the heads of the Federal Trade Commission, the Departments of Health and Human Services, Energy, Treasury, and Commerce; Consumer Product Safety Commission; Environmental Protection Agency; and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, for answers to a number of questions.
Those questions included how many employees had been hired from 2007 through 2009; how many make over $100,000; and the number earning over $140,000.
The FCC had to staff up last year to develop a national broadband plan, which was mandated as part of the Recovery Act.
The commission received just over $20 million from the act toward producing the plan, according to Broadband spokesman Mark Wigfield, including funding for the hiring of staffers, data collection and producing studies.