It sure sucks to be stuck in a dead-end job making $172,000 a year, doesn't it? That seems to be the sentiment held by one Georgia pol who is a little jealous that his aides can go down to a lobby on K Street someday and earn a salary of $500,000 or more.
Phil Gingrey, a Republican Congressman from Georgia, is sparking controversy after complaining about his meager salary in a closed-door meeting on Wednesday. He bemoaned that his aides "may be 33 years old now and not making a lot of money," but, "in a few years they can just go to K Street and make $500,000 a year. Meanwhile I'm stuck here making $172,000 a year."
Two of his aides who were in meeting apparently didn't take too kindly to the comments and leaked them to The National Review.
Even worse, Gingrey is so busy pinching every penny in his tight budget that he failed to account for the extra $2,000 he has made every year since 2009. That's right, Members of Congress have actually made $174,000 a year since then. Increasing their annual is about the only thing they've all managed to agree is good policy over the past few years.
The meeting was actually about Obamacare and a rule requiring congressional staffers to purchase their health insurance in the exchange markets. Critics have blasted this rule, calling it special treatment.
In any case, National Review asked Gingrey to clarify his comments. He said, "it is completely unfair for members of Congress and Hill staffers to get this special treatment that the general public are not getting."
He added, "I was engaged in a dialogue with some members of our conference who truly believe that Congress should get special treatment. And some also believe that staff members should get special treatment. I happen not to believe that."