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 December 31, 2022

Nancy Pelosi increases max pay for House staff just before her speakership ends

Fox News reports that outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has significantly increased the maximum salary that a U.S. House of Representatives staff member could receive. 

The new pay ceiling for House staffers is now $212,000.

This means that a House staff member can now make more money - $38,000 more - than the member of the U.S. Senate or House for whom the staff member works, as Congress members make an annual salary of $174,000.

This is the second time in the past year that Pelosi had made such a move.

In early 2022, Pelosi increased the maximum amount of money that a lawmaker could pay his or her staff members by a little less than $5,000, from $199,300 to $203,700. In addition to this, Pelosi, at the time, set the minimum amount of money that a House staffer must be paid at $45,000.

Fox highlights the significance of these moves by Pelosi.

"The move was seen as precedent-breaking since for decades there were no official House rules governing staffer pay," Fox writes. "Instead, House offices were free to negotiate staff pay individually."

An advocacy group called Issue One has researched this topic.

The group, in general, found a lot of diversity in terms of the amount of money that congressional staff members are paid. Issue One, in particular, though, focused on the salaries of lower-level staff.

Issue One reports:

A new Issue One analysis of LegiStorm data shows that 13% of D.C.-based congressional staff — or roughly 1 in 8 staffers — made less than a living wage in 2020, which the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) estimates is $42,610 for an adult with no children in Washington, D.C. That’s nearly 1,200 staffers, many of whom have taken on side gigs or relied on financial support from family members to pay their bills.

Pelosi's latest directive does not address this issue, although the earlier one did by setting the minimum salary at $45,000.

Pelosi explained her latest directive in a letter that she sent to House members

She wrote:

As you know, our hard-working, patriotic congressional staffers are integral to the functioning of the House of Representatives. To that end, we must do all we can to retain and recruit the best talent in our nation — and to build a congressional workforce that reflects the communities we are honored to serve.

Pelosi clearly believes that the new pay ceiling will help to achieve this goal. This all comes just before Pelosi's run as House speaker is about to come to an end, which will be on Tuesday.

Written By:
Robert Ayers

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