In the past few months, especially since the government shut down last year, congressmen have undergone a lot of scrutiny for the perks that they receive and the amount of money that they are paid. However, Stephanie Condon reports that Rep. Jim Moran believes that members of Congress should receive a raise. Moran told the newspaper Roll Call,“I think the American people should know that the members of Congress are underpaid. 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.” Condon goes on to state that the “rank-and-file” members of Congress make a yearly salary of $174,000. While being a member of Congress is an extremely important job, it doesn’t seem right that they should receive almost triple the median household income in Washington D.C. when the government actually ceased to work because members of Congress could agree on an issue.
However, later on in Condon’s article Moran does make a fair point. He says “A lot of members can’t even afford to live decently in Washington.” This statement is probably true in the sense that congress members from states that are further from Moran’s Northern Virginia district have to maintain both a residence in their home district and in Washington when Congress is in session. Congressman Moran says that he plans to introduce “an amendment to a spending bill that would give legislators a per diem payment to cover housing costs.” While this amendment might work in theory, those that do not need supplemental payment for housing might take advantage of the money for personal gain. If this amendment is indeed passed it should be put in place so that only the congress members that legitimately need the money to cover costs for residences in their home towns and in D.C. can use it.