Departing Utah Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz, who famously slept on a cot in his office to save money, says congressmen should get an extra $2,500 monthly housing allowance to pay D.C. rental costs.
“I really do believe Congress would be much better served if there was a housing allowance for members of Congress,” Chaffetz told The Hill in an interview.
Chaffetz’s proposed $2,500 monthly stipend — which works out to $30,000 a year per lawmaker, and about $16 million a year for all 535 members of congress — would be in addition to the $174,000 salary allotted to every congressman.
“In today’s climate, nobody’s going to suggest or vote for a pay raise. But you shouldn’t have to be among the wealthiest of Americans to serve properly in Congress.”
Whenever Chaffetz was in D.C., he would sleep on a cot in his Capitol Hill office to save money.
“Washington, D.C., is one of the most expensive places in the world, and I flat-out cannot afford a mortgage in Utah, kids in college and a second place here in Washington, D.C.,” Chaffetz said.
The median rental price for the District of Columbia was $2,000 per month in 2015, according to the Washington Post, but the cost went up considerably around Capitol Hill.
“I think a $2,500 housing allowance would be appropriate and a real help to have at least a decent quality of life in Washington if you’re going to expect people to spend hundreds of nights a year here.”
Chaffetz will leave his House seat as of June 30 to take an undisclosed position at Fox News, according to reports. He also said he hopes to sit on a number of boards, and write about technology policy.
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