Lula Elevators Lula Elevators Apex Wheelchair Lifts Apex Wheelchair Lifts Independence Stair Lifts Vision Elevators
You are here: Home » Commercial elevators » Elevator Operators in the Capitol make Big Bucks Pressing Buttons for Senators

Elevator Operators in the Capitol make Big Bucks Pressing Buttons for Senators

Elevator Operator

Many people have probably never seen an elevator operator these days. Jobs like elevator operator and bathroom attendant seem to be extinct. However, if you should happen to become a United States Senator, get used to having someone push the elevator buttons for you.

Over the last five years, Uncle Sam has paid out over $1.2 million to pay operators who man the Capitol’s senators-only elevators. The longer the elevator operator pushes the right buttons, the more money they will rake in. The longest tenured elevator operator has seen a salary increase each of the last five years. That operator has earned over $210,000 over those five years, giving them an average salary of around $42,000 a year.

So why can’t Senators just select their floor on their own? The Senate sergeant at arms office, which employs the operators, defended the presence of the elevator operators by saying that they provide services to the Senators besides the obvious. They listed nine roles and responsibilities of the operators that are separate from the physical operation of the automated elevators. Many of these other responsibilities deal with providing a clear and safe path for Senators to move through quickly, pointing confused tourists in the right direction, and working in the galleries during Senate recesses. The sergeant at arms office also noted that all elevator operators are certified in first aid and CPR.

In 2011, the sergeant at arms office decided that elevator operators would be among the furloughed nonessential staff. However, even after the Senate identified the taxpayer-funded operators as nonessential, no evidence exists to suggest that they plan on eliminating or reducing the funding for those positions. So if you hate pressing the buttons on elevators on your own, all you have to do is become a Senator!

Enhanced by Zemanta


  1. Seems like this could be a position for a veteran with a disability

  2. Senators and congressman are both over rated in this day and age. If you can do online banking, you can d-a-m-n well vote on line and make a decision. 1 person 1 vote. End of story.

  3. Next thing you know they’ll be hiring assistants to look out the window and tell them about the weather. Our hard earned money simply isn’t real to our dear leaders.. They are incapable of living within their means.

  4. How lazy can these people be..A waste of tax payers money..Push your own elevator button.
    Gee do you need help wiping your butts to??

  5. Bob, that sounds like a very smart solution to many of our vets dealing with a very high unemployment environment. Sadly there are most likely federal union problems to deal with and senators who don’t want to “upset” the apple cart. I may just put an email into my semi-useful senator, Schumer mailbox.

  6. The relevant fact is that their union dues are donated to the Democrat party. HEIL OBAMA

  7. Sounds just like the Roman Empire. I guess these same Senators have a helper in the bathroom too. I could see in the picture that the Goverment is an EEOC emplyer how nice and at $42,000 a year! What a waste !!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Are you serious? With all that is wrong with the Congress and the nation, you have nothing better to do than pick on elevator operators making $42,000 per year? Members of Congress make almost $200,000 per year. The deficit totals hundreds of billions. And why five-year totals? Even the lowest salaries will sound like a lot of money if you total them up over enough years. This article has not purpose but to spread cynicism.

  9. I guess after sitting on your thumbs all day on the Senate floor you’re just to confused to press the right buttons.

  10. Vote out ALL incumbent elected federal office holders should they stand for reelection!

  11. Well they should! The smell of the Garbage they carry must be overwhelming!

  12. I totally agree! I’m not a veteran but I’m so tired of the waseteful spending. Veterans are having a rough time transitioning back to the country they protected. Speaking of CPR/First aid, who is better trained to give assistance and aid? Someone that went through a class or hands on experience? Plus the veteran could also be included in the security side of the senate! Thank you Bob!

  13. Let the Elevator operators run the capitol and put the senators pushing buttons in the elevator. We would be saving Millions.

  14. If what we send to Raleigh are too uninformed (was going to say stupid, but did not want to be flagged by a Democrat) to push an elevator button, why should we send such a person?

  15. There are two reasons. 1. The operators are Black and that is what obama wanted to do employ more Blacks than whites. 2. The senators do not have the intelligence to figure which button to pusch.

  16. Last word in last line above was supposed to be PUSH. I guess my hand-eye work on my keyboard qualifies me to be a senator. Sorry.

  17. This problem can only be solved by peasants with pitchforks. Rise up, America!

  18. How do I apply for this position????? I remember when I was younger, the elevators had operators, but they also had a gate that had to be closed first. I can see the use for a operator at that time, but now? Just to push a button? And as far as other duties, as giving directions, anyone in a hallway can do this. CPR, again many people walking around in the building can also do this. $42,000 a year seriously… I just think this is a waste of tax money that could be spend on something else. It comes down to status, that’s all it is. Power to Senators, they are people just like you and I and have fingers to press their own buttons. What a waste of money, but if they are not going to omit this, yes I agree with the comment above, give it to a veteran!

  19. $42,000 ???? In D.C. poverty wages !!

  20. Thats a good idear as long he or she is part of the buddy system.

  21. while this JOB does help someones family it is a complete waste of MY money.
    with washington in the complete state of disarray and confusion its nice to
    see that these senators will get to the proper floor they need.

  22. I was really impressed that the Senate’s personal elevator operators are certified in first aid and CPR. But not to the extent of $42,000 a year.

    Once again, I have to say that it would be much cheaper for the long-suffering taxpayer to just replace dead or damaged political hacks like Senators and congresscritters, than to keep them in the style to which they, and all government bureaucrats have become accustomed.

  23. If my comment is “awaiting moderation,” it must be because it struck a nerve.

  24. Sounds like the same excuse FDA ORA uses to justify GS 12 and 13 office assistants. They “do other things”. More like on paper only.

  25. Now, this is wasteful. If a senator can not push their own button he needs to be voted out !!!!

  26. Seem like a job that could be eliminated along with about 50 % of all other government jobs.

  27. Try living on $42,000 in D.C. Also, the Senate probably doesn’t know how to push the elevator buttons.

  28. So…$42,000 a year to push elevator buttons that politicians are too LAZY to push themselves???? Honestly?????

  29. Are you suggesting that we lower the self esteem of disabled vets by giving them a job of pushing buttons for those who control the VA etc? Puhhlleeeese, they have too much pride for that. That job is for political suckups and those who fall under other government programs.

  30. Response to Bob Deschenes: Senators don’t want to see the disabled, especially ones that were caused by their decisions to go to war.

  31. What! You call $42.000 Big Bucks in DC.
    This is nothing compared to the Millions Senators steal.
    Or in the case of Big Mouth Darrell Issa, who’s wealth is closer to a Billion.
    So go suck on that!

  32. I agree 100% with Bob. But let us not be disillusioned. These Politicians simply don’t care about Veterans. They talk a good game but that’s about as far as it goes.

  33. what a bunch of shit……no wonder other countries hate us

  34. anybody who thinks $42000 a year is a lot of money, needs a reality check. they show up for work, pay into social security, hopefully have retirement savings. there are many other places one should look for government waste before peering into a working man’s paycheck!

  35. I always knew that the senators had not common sense. They can’t even punch an elevator button.

    To the Sargent of Arms. IT IS TIME to make the Senators handle their OWN business. WE THE PEOPLE say NO MORE unless YOU furnish everyone of us a person to open my door for me. Sounds stupid? Just about as stupid as this elevator man. Senators are NOT anyone special.

  36. Just another day in the life of the politician. They want to live like KINGS until they retire and to screw as many people as they can on the way up. TERM LIMITS!!

  37. Well, I guess this will get me a lot of hateful remarks…but, I worked for about 32 yrs, for and around Capitol Hill! My boss, and his 1,800 member staff; had to give up all accumulated civil service protections! I worked on a positively non-partisan basis! I worked, professionally, in the House of Reps! I monitored and allocated monies for the Representatives operating and staff monies. Congressmen monitored and paid their own salaries! Anyway, I have not been back to DC for at least 20 yrs. BUT, in my career, I NEVER saw an elevator operator on duty for either of the members of both Houses! Now, either things have changed, or this article is a lie, in my opinion! Just a little financial note…ALL MONIES FOR ANY EXPENDITURES, IN THE US GOVERNMENT, ARE IDENTIFIED, ALLOCATED, AND FINALLY SPENT, by the Republican controlled House of Representatives! So, if u feel abused then write to your House Representative, expressing your anger! U also have the privilege of voting your Representative OR your Senator if U so desire. The sad fact is that MOST of these commenters do not even know who these Representatives or Senators are! BTW, in many, many circumstances the staffs of these “leaders” work long, long hours; with the non-protection of civil service benefits…so they can be fired, instantly at any time..there is no union representation! The politicians spend the vast majority of their time on the phone, or attending fund raising affairs for their next election…the vast majority of folks in this country do not realize that the legislation the “leaders” sponsor was originally written by a bunch of 30-40 year old staffers!

  38. They don’t know how to read the bills they sign, why would you think they know how to read numbers?

  39. Give the poor Senators a break. They do the best they can. The operators know where the Senators are going because they don’t even know where they have been. CPR ? We must save the Senators as they are very important to us regular citizens, we wouldn’t want one of them to die before they finished helping us.

  40. WTF?!? We, the tax payers are paying for this stupidity!?! The Royalty in Washington can’t push an elevator button?!? Over half of them are millionaires, living on our tax dollars, and voting them selves pay-raises(the list goes on!). WE THE PEOPLE are paying for the Washington ELITE to live like kings-on our backs!! Many of the politicians have NEVER had a real job, or run a business-yet we keep them in office for decades(which allows them to become millionaires, and no one challenges that?!?). What the hell is wrong with this country!?! Verbal oral copulation, is their best-if not only skill. The sheeple of this country need to wake the F up!!

  41. When I was attending the University of Maryland, 09/1969-12/1973, a friend of mine had one of these elevator operator jobs. At the time, he worked part-time as an elevator operator in the US Capitol Building, not just the Senate side. How did he get the job? His sister worked for a congressman.

  42. Cole, when you are balancing your budget, assuming you are not a gov’t “worker” (now that’s an oxymoron) and have to live on a budget, you look at ALL your expenses, including the small ones. An old saying, “If you watch the nickles, the dollars will take care of them selves” is still true today.

  43. It’s not so much the $42K that bothers me (there are more wasteful things to be concerned with), it’s the attitude of the senators that believe they are above such a menial task… It would do them good to remember that they work for us… They are the hired staff !

  44. It amazes me that so many people think that the biggest problem in America is that the working poor aren’t poor enough

  45. The title is misleading. These are very old, but well-maintain elevators; but you don’t simply operate them by “pressing a button.” They have the old-fashion circular level that requires a operator. The operators are also charge with not letting unauthorized personnel get on their elevator car.

  46. It’s not whether $42,000 is a lot of money in DC; it’s about the amount of compensation to sit on your ass and push buttons. Seriously $20/hr to go up and down in an elevator. On top of that, and most importantly, how about everyone push their own damn elevator buttons? Or better yet, take the stairs and lose some of that fat.

  47. They have to hire someone to push the buttons because the senators are to stupid to learn or too lazy to do it themselves.

  48. The wages of $ 42,000 should be irrelevant. $ 18,000 is minimum wage, and it is hard to get by in DC on $ 50,000.

    The real issue is the job demeans the worker because it is useless and wasteful. A solution would be to transfer them to productive jobs or phase out positions when they retire. See if your Senator would sponsor such a bill.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Scroll To Top