Ep. 2: Going Broke Working for Congress
The Cloakroom

Staffer Raise Might Pay for Daily Coffee
Roll Call analysis shows stagnant salaries lag far behind costs

An aide tends the door to a meeting of the House Republican Conference in the Capitol in December. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House lawmakers are intent on giving staff members a raise in 2017, concerned that low pay and long hours are contributing to turnover and congressional brain drain.  

But the money won't go very far, according to a Roll Call analysis.  

Lawmaker Rants About Members Being Underpaid

Rep. Alcee L. Hastings took another shot at advocating for an unpopular cause when he argued to Legislative Branch committee leaders that in addition to staff, members of Congress should be getting a salary hike.

Hastings made the same case before the same House Rules committee considering the Legislative Branch spending bill last year. House members recently decided to pump up the amount in each members is allowed to have in an effort to offer potential salary increases for staff -- something the chamber hasn't done since 2010.

Senate Holds the Line on Staff Salaries
No raises for members of Congress either in bill approved by Appropriations Committee

Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri speaks during a Senate Appropriations meeting to markup the legislative branch spending bill. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate Appropriations Committee approved a legislative branch spending bill Thursday that did not address raising salaries for the chamber’s staff — unlike their counterparts in the House .  

The appropriations bill also includes a provision, which has been in place since 2009, that would prevent any pay increase for members of Congress. The same has been the case for House members since 2010.