• Dem Rep Says 174k Annual Gov’t Salary NOT Enough

    Democratic Rep. Alcee L. Hastings of Florida Rep. believes that he and his colleagues in Congress are vastly underpaid and deserve raises even though the average member’s salary is $174,000.

    “It’s kind of a sad state of affairs that we are entering the seventh year of Congress not receiving a raise,” Hastings said at a hearing regarding the 2016 Legislative Branch appropriations bill. “In order for us to get a raise, we have to go to the public and prove that we deserve it. Well, I think we do.”

    Congress’ current approval rating is 19 percent.

    Hastings said his $174,000 salary simply isn’t enough to live on in Washington, D.C. and spoke of his own struggle with housing in particular, citing a recent move as a result of being priced out of his luxury apartment in Senate Square.

    “Members deserve to be paid, staff deserves to be paid and the cost of living here is causing serious problems for people who are not wealthy to serve in this institution,” Hastings said. “We aren’t being paid properly.”

    If the pay remains stalled, Hastings warned, members of Congress who have children will come to realize “that on the salary that they make, they’re going to be unable to send their children to college.”

    Hastings also advocated for a pay increase for staff members, revealing that he recently lost three top staffers because “they needed to make more money.”

    “I knew that to be the case because they, like the rest of us, had been with me for a period of time and there was very little in the budget that would allow for increases,” he said. “I think it will ultimately lead to a serious morale problem.”

    Hastings reaffirmed his remarks outside the House chamber after the committee hearing, claiming that his staff members are so destitute that many of them resorted to living in their offices.

    “We’re entering our seventh year without a pay raise, I think we’ve proved to the American public we’re responsible and I know it has impacted me personally,” Hastings said. “We have more than 50 members, probably as many as 75 or more, living in their offices. They’re not there because of any other reason than that they can’t afford it. Now if people want us in sack-cloths and ashes, then they’re going to get what they rightly deserve as representation.”

    Alicia Powe

    Staff Writer

    Alicia Powe is a staff writer for Daily Surge. She worked in the War Room of the Rudy Giuliani Presidential Committee and served as a White House Intern during the George W. Bush administration. Alicia has written for numerous outlets, including Human Events, Media Research Center and Townhall.com.

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