Congressman laments $172,000 salary

Georgia Republican Phil Gingrey is under fire for complaining about his compensation at a closed-door meeting.

By Kim Peterson Sep 19, 2013 2:44PM
Rep. Phil Gingrey, R-Ga. on June 28, 2013 (© Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/Getty Images)Man, Congress is a dead-end job. You're surrounded by fat-cat lobbyists making twice as much as you, you hear nothing but complaints from your constituents and you take home a measly $174,000 a year.

It's enough to get one Congressman, Phil Gingrey of Georgia (pictured), tied up in knots. He complained about it in a closed-door meeting Wednesday, and his comments have spread like wildfire.

Gingrey observed that poorly paid Congressional aides have a future on K Street -- a street in Washington D.C. known for the lobbying companies headquartered there.

Aides "may be 33 years old now and not making a lot of money," Gingrey said, according to two aides who relayed his comments to The National Review. "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."

It just tugs on the heartstrings, doesn't it? Gingrey was actually off by a couple thousand. Members of Congress have made $174,000 annually since 2009.

The median household income in Gingrey's home state of Georgia, meanwhile, is $49,736 a year.

Gingrey's comments were first reported by The National Review, a conservative news publication. His words "incensed some of the GOP aides in the room," writes Jonathan Strong.

Gingrey made the comments during a discussion about an Obamacare rule requiring congressional staffers to buy their health insurance in the exchange markets. The Office of Personnel Management has said that the government can continue to contribute money to the health care premiums of Congress and their aides, but critics have deplored what they see as special treatment.

In the closed-door session, lawmakers discussed reversing the ruling. Some were uncomfortable doing so. Rep. Joe Barton of Texas said the change would cost him $12,000. "That's a burden. And it’s a burden on our staff, too," he said, according to National Review Online.

And that's when Gingrey spoke out. When National Review asked him later about his comments, he said he couldn't remember exactly what he said. He said his point was that "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 this: "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."

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135Comments
Sep 19, 2013 3:11PM
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Lucky for him politicians aren't paid for their results. With the current batch we have, they would not make a dime and may even owe us reimbursement for their ineptitude.
Sep 19, 2013 3:15PM
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OK, quit.  How about the fact that you can get insider trading facts and make millions while Martha Stewart goes to jail.  How about the cushy job you can get when you retire.  Make millions for what you did for someone while in office.  How about the not Obama care that you and almost anyone around you get for life. How about the free non taxed pension fund you get after three years.  I obviously could go on for a long time.

You make me puke you worthless POS.

Sep 19, 2013 3:16PM
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What a jerk.  All our elected officials in Washington D.C. need to be kicked out of office.

 

The second American Revolution is nearer than you think!

Sep 19, 2013 3:19PM
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Wake up people - the vast majority of our Congress along with the President and Vice President are multi-millionaires!  If they're not when they arrive they will be shortly after by using the insider trading exemption that they have!  People like Nancy Pelosi have made MILLIONS using it.  It's a FACT!  I don't believe Congress should be exempt for any rule they pass!  They should be leading by example not living by SPECIAL RULES!
Sep 19, 2013 3:09PM
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These Congressmen fly into Washington on Monday and out on Friday. They have how many days off during the year and great benefits. They get a 3 day work week and much of that is fund raising.  Of course if he is making that much and worth that much, benefits such as healthcare, etc. really mean nothing to him. He can afford anything. 
Sep 19, 2013 3:13PM
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So he had to lie again when asked about his comments. Shame on all of them. I can't figure out why they think they deserve so much more than the rest of us.
Sep 19, 2013 3:16PM
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Since the constitution states that congress SHALL be responsible for managing a budget.  This goof off hasn't been doing his job and hence does not deserve a salary.  In fact, for all the work that they have done, Gingery and his associates don't deserve a job.
Sep 19, 2013 3:24PM
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Don't like it,Quit. Go find a real job. Try working for a living for a change. 
Sep 19, 2013 3:09PM
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And yet voters in his district, who scrape by on far less than the average income for the district will continue to vote FOR this ungrateful self-serving POS.  All because he has an R at the end of his name.

Speaks volumes about the intelligence of our Southern brothers.
Sep 19, 2013 3:18PM
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ALL federal employees should have to get their insurance through the exchanges.  If the government wants to require all people to have insurance the federal employees should have to do it the same way as the rest of  America.  The federal government as an employer can make contributions to the cost but they should ALL, including house member, senate mender and judicial members too buy through the exchanges.

Sep 19, 2013 3:14PM
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And they cried so much that these same "poor" congress critters are now expempt from Obamacare leaving us to pay for their cadillac health care.
Sep 19, 2013 3:15PM
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time to give that **** the pinkslip-with all the perks they get he still complains #### him!
Sep 19, 2013 3:06PM
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Doesn't matter. We can guess where his constituents get their news from so they're plenty dumb enough to vote for him again.

Sep 19, 2013 3:16PM
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this is bi partisan by the way.they're all PO's
Sep 19, 2013 3:15PM
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Poor ol' Gingrey, forgot to mention he spent a million to get the job.
Sep 19, 2013 3:25PM
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Those that can, do.  Those that can't are in Congress.
Sep 19, 2013 3:18PM
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Oh, poor baby! Maybe foreclosing on some little old lady or pulling the wings off some flies would make him fee better.
Sep 19, 2013 3:27PM
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If he truly feels that way, then don't run for re-election and I'm sure somebody on K Street will come knocking on his door to pay him what he believes he deserves.
Sep 19, 2013 3:12PM
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he won't be re-elected unless Georgia has become like Nevada
Sep 19, 2013 3:03PM
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Leave it to a Republican "lawmaker" to complain about making 172k a year.  Only if you live in a few select cities (L.A., San Francisco, or NYC) would that be a tight living to earn.
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