Rep. Moran: 'A lot of members can’t even afford to live decently in Washington'
You have to feel sorry for Rep. Jim Moran (absolutely, positively no relation). The Virginia Democratic congressman is whining that members of congress can't "live decently" in Washington with the pittance of a salary they draw from the people.
Hear, America, his tale of woe:
“I think the American people should know that the members of Congress are underpaid,” Moran told CQ Roll Call. “I understand that it’s widely felt that they underperform, but the fact is that this is the board of directors for the largest economic entity in the world.”
The senior appropriator pointed out that some members have taken to living out of their offices to save money, while others have “small little apartment units” that make it impossible to spend the time they should with their families.
Most state legislatures provide their members with a per diem allowance, Moran argues, so the federal government should do the same.
The Legislative Branch appropriations bill introduced by Republicans on Wednesday aims to show the chamber’s commitment to austerity by holding spending at current levels. It would continue a freeze on lawmaker salaries that has been in place since 2010.
As for a dollar amount, Moran hasn’t yet thought that through. He said it would probably be consistent with what the federal government provides to other employees.
According to the Congressional Research Service, members began receiving a $6 per diem in 1789. The rate was eventually raised to $8 and remained there until 1856, when members began to receive annual salaries.
Moran assumes the amendment will not pass, admitting “this is wholly quixotic,” but he may bring it up on the House floor to garner attention.
“Our pay has been frozen for three years and we’re planning on freezing it a fourth year. … A lot of members can’t even afford to live decently in Washington,” he said.
Does Moran actually believe that he and his fellow congressmen are members of the board of directors "of the the largest economic entity in the world"? Does this mean he believes that Congress runs the economy? Those bozos can't even run the congressional gym and Moran has delusions about controlling a $13 trillion economy?
The $174,000 salary for congressmen is, indeed, a hard slog if you have to maintain two homes - one in the district and one in DC. But most congressmen do not bring their families to Washington and since their travel to and from home is paid for by the taxpayer (how many thousands of dollars for travel is Moran not counting as salary?), they spend a lot of time on airplanes.
Besides, the median net worth of a congressman is over $1 million. Most members have outside income - including income from their spouse's job - that allows them to live comfortably. While their are probably some congressional sob stories about how difficult it is to survive on their salary alone, I would guess that it just simply isn't true for the vast majority of them.
So good luck, Congressman Moran. I'm sure your fellow members are silently cheering you on even as they denounce you for even suggesting Congress deserves a raise.