Md. delegation reports no 'nanny' woes

February 10, 1993|By Nelson Schwartz | Nelson Schwartz,Contributing Writer

WASHINGTON -- Members of Maryland's congressional delegation said yesterday that they have avoided the kinds of problems that torpedoed the nominations of Zoe Baird and Judge Kimba M. Wood for attorney general by always paying Social Security taxes and never hiring illegal aliens.

A survey of the state's eight representatives and two senators found none who reported violating the laws regarding the employment of undocumented workers and payment of taxes for household workers. Most answered through their press secretaries or other aides.

Democratic Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski was traveling in Maryland yesterday and could not be reached for comment, a spokeswoman said.

Since Judge Wood withdrew Friday, dozens of White House appointees have dug through old paperwork as the question of illegal employment rocks official Washington.

"It's not that hard," said a spokeswoman for Democratic Rep. Benjamin L. Cardin of Maryland's 3rd District, who serves on the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee. "You follow the rules and you do it."

Rep. Kweisi Mfume, a Democrat from the 7th District, said, "I could never afford household help, or anything else for that matter. I worked two jobs for 16 years to take care of my kids."

Republican Rep. Helen Delich Bentley said, "My husband is the gardener and the cook, and I'm the cleaning woman." The 2nd District congresswoman said top officials "should know the law. This kind of avoidance aggravates the deficit and assists the underground economy."

Family help was handy for others, too. An aide to Republican Rep. Wayne T. Gilchrest of the 1st District said that "the closest the congressman ever came to hiring domestic help was paying his kids to cut the grass."

A spokeswoman for 8th District Republican Rep. Constance A. Morella said, "The only domestic help I've ever seen is her husband."

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