June 19, 2013

Manchin Immigration Amendment Passes in Senate to Cap Contractor Pay for Border Security

Bipartisan amendment would place commonsense limitations on contractor compensation to save taxpayer dollars

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) today announced his amendment to the “Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act” easily passed in the Senate by a vote of 72-26. The amendment would cap compensation for private contractor executives employed for border security at $230,700, which is the most government civilian employees can make in a given year. Private companies could pay their contractors higher salaries; however, they would be responsible to pay the difference, not the taxpayer. 

While we need the expertise of private contractors to help secure our borders, taxpayers should not be responsible for the exorbitant salaries that these contractors are demanding,” Senator Manchin said. “My amendment places commonsense limitations on private contractor salaries and caps them at $230,700, which is the most a government civilian can make in a given year. There’s nothing in this proposal that prevents contractors from making more than this cap, but it isn’t fair that taxpayers should foot the bill for individuals who are paid double or triple the amount our Secretary of Homeland Security can make.”


  • Defense contractors can be paid over $763,029, a figure higher than what the Secretary of Defense, Secretary of Homeland Security and President of the United States earn. 

  • If Congress doesn’t address contractor compensation, this figure will rise to $951,000 this year. That means that taxpayers will foot the bill for a million-dollar salary.  

  • As the Afghanistan war winds down, military contracting firms are competing for border security contracts to replace work in the defense sector. S.744, the immigration reform bill, is focused on border security, and these contractors will be necessary to implement all the requirements in the immigration package.