House Spending Bill Includes $174,000 For Sen. Lautenberg's Widow

The former New Jersey senator was a millionaire


WASHINGTON –  As D.C. lawmakers talk tough over a looming government shutdown, one item House members have not said much about is a six-figure "gift" they tucked into the latest spending bill. The little-noticed provision would pay the widow of the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg – who was a millionaire—$174,000 in tax-free funds. 

The payment is part of a time-honored practice of paying out death benefits to lawmakers' families. But it's caught the eye of government watchdogs who say it's time to put an end to that practice.