Democratic Florida Rep. Alcee Hastings wants Congress to get a raise. In fact, he wants every member of Congress and their staff to get raises.
During a Rules Committee hearing Monday, Hastings said, “Members deserve to be paid, staff deserves to be paid and the cost of living here is causing serious problems for people who are not wealthy to serve in this institution.”
Hastings, a former federal judge who was impeached, convicted and removed from office for taking $150,000 in bribes, complained about how expensive it is to live in the District of Columbia. He warned this will lead to “elitism” in Congress where only extremely wealthy people can afford to serve.
The median net worth of a member of Congress was more than $1 million in 2013.
Of current congressional pay, $174,000, Hastings frets members and staff will realize “that on the salary that they make, they’re going to be unable to send their children to college.”
Roll Call lists Hastings as the second poorest member of Congress, having a net worth of negative $2.23 million. Much of his debt stems from the legal bill associated with his impeachment.