search
Sections List
American Journal News

GOP leader whines about how hard it is to live on $174,000 a year

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy whined that it’s been ‘more than a decade’ since members of Congress got a pay raise.

By Emily Singer - May 09, 2019
Share
Kevin McCarthy

Members of Congress currently earn $174,000 a year — more than two-and-a-half times the median household income in the United States.

But House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) says that’s not enough for members of Congress to live on and that it’s been too long since their last pay increase.

“It’s been more than a decade,” McCarthy complained to NBC News in a Thursday report. “I’ve got members who are leaving over this.”

But McCarthy doesn’t have the same sympathy for other Americans who haven’t received pay raises in a decade.

For example, the federal minimum wage has stood at $7.25 an hour since July 2009, almost a full 10 years ago. That means the annual earnings for a full-time, minimum-wage worker are just $15,080, according to a report from the University of California Davis — nearly 12 times less than a member of Congress’ salary.

But McCarthy has condemned any Democratic efforts to increase the federal minimum wage.

Back in 2013, when then-President Barack Obama called for the federal minimum wage to rise to $9 an hour, McCarthy said that the modest wage bump would “take away from the economy.

This is not the first time a Republican member of Congress has made a tone-deaf complaint about member salaries.

In March 2011, Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI) lamented to a constituent that he could only drive a “used minivan” on his $174,000 salary.

Also back in 2011, now-former Rep. Steve Southerland (R-FL) said the $174,000 salary was “not so much.

In 2017, now-former GOP Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah wanted members of Congress to receive a $30,000 stipend to pay rent in Washington, D.C. in order for members to “have at least a decent quality of life in Washington.” Chaffetz ultimately resigned from his seat and took a job as a Fox News contributor, where he gets paid handsomely to spew Republican conspiracy theories.

Some Democrats are on board with an increase to congressional salaries, including House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD).

Hoyer stressed that the cost of living increases are not just for members of Congress, but also congressional staffers — who make far less money, and who also haven’t seen cost of living increases in a decade.

“Congressional salaries should not limit those who can serve their country, either as a member of Congress or as congressional staff,” Hoyer told NBC News. “After 10 consecutive years of pay freezes, staff from diverse backgrounds are increasingly shut out, leading Congress to lose bright, dedicated staffers who would like to continue in public service but have difficulty making ends meet.”

Hoyer also supports increasing the minimum wage, while McCarthy does not.

Ultimately, there are good reasons to increase congressional salaries, including attracting a more diverse array of staffers and members.

But it’s hypocritical for GOP members like McCarthy to complain about the pay for members of Congress while at the same time fighting any efforts to boost wages for impoverished and middle-class Americans.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation. 


AJ News
Get the latest news here first.

Tai News

Newsletter
Read More
AJ News
Latest
Republican Eric Hovde makes inconsistent statements about family history

Republican Eric Hovde makes inconsistent statements about family history

By Jesse Valentine - February 26, 2024
Republican David McCormick invests millions in website that platforms Holocaust denial

Republican David McCormick invests millions in website that platforms Holocaust denial

By Jesse Valentine - February 09, 2024
Lawmakers will again take up bills expanding, tightening gun laws

Lawmakers will again take up bills expanding, tightening gun laws

By Annmarie Timmins, New Hampshire Bulletin - January 31, 2024
UAW delivers rousing presidential endorsement for Biden over ‘scab’ Trump

UAW delivers rousing presidential endorsement for Biden over ‘scab’ Trump

By Ashley Murray, States Newsroom - January 24, 2024
Republicans Sam Brown and Jeff Gunter sling mud in Nevada senate primary

Republicans Sam Brown and Jeff Gunter sling mud in Nevada senate primary

By Jesse Valentine - January 17, 2024
A Young Texas Woman Almost Died Due To The Texas Abortion Bans – Now She’s Battling To Save Other Women

A Young Texas Woman Almost Died Due To The Texas Abortion Bans – Now She’s Battling To Save Other Women

By Bonnie Fuller - January 10, 2024
Health care legislation preview: Maryland advocates want to focus on access, patients in 2024 session

Health care legislation preview: Maryland advocates want to focus on access, patients in 2024 session

By Danielle J. Brown, Maryland Matters - January 08, 2024
How GOP senate hopefuls try to excuse the  January 6 insurrection

How GOP senate hopefuls try to excuse the  January 6 insurrection

By Jesse Valentine - January 05, 2024
NH lawmakers will be taking up major voting bills this year. Here are some to watch for.

NH lawmakers will be taking up major voting bills this year. Here are some to watch for.

By Ethan DeWitt, New Hampshire Bulletin - January 04, 2024
Republican US Senate candidates want to make Trump’s tax cuts permanent 

Republican US Senate candidates want to make Trump’s tax cuts permanent 

By Jesse Valentine - December 22, 2023
Rand Paul went all in on the Kentucky governor’s race. It didn’t work.

Rand Paul went all in on the Kentucky governor’s race. It didn’t work.

By - December 15, 2023
Texas governor and attorney general do little to curb state’s chemical plant crisis

Texas governor and attorney general do little to curb state’s chemical plant crisis

By Jesse Valentine - December 08, 2023
Likely GOP Senate candidate Eric Hovde proposed tax hike for poorer workers and retirees

Likely GOP Senate candidate Eric Hovde proposed tax hike for poorer workers and retirees

By Jesse Valentine - December 07, 2023
Whitmer signs specific criminal penalties for assaulting health care workers into law

Whitmer signs specific criminal penalties for assaulting health care workers into law

By Anna Liz Nichols, Michigan Advance - December 06, 2023
105 Republicans voted to expel Santos for things Trump has also done

105 Republicans voted to expel Santos for things Trump has also done

By Jesse Valentine - December 05, 2023
For Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, another Trump term is another chance to kill Obamacare

For Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, another Trump term is another chance to kill Obamacare

By Jesse Valentine - December 04, 2023
Florida Sen. Rick Scott backs Donald Trump in revived push to repeal Obamacare

Florida Sen. Rick Scott backs Donald Trump in revived push to repeal Obamacare

By Jesse Valentine - November 30, 2023
Tate Reeves took donations from power company that hiked customer rates

Tate Reeves took donations from power company that hiked customer rates

By Jesse Valentine - November 06, 2023
Daniel Cameron ran on depoliticizing the Kentucky AG’s office. He made it more political.

Daniel Cameron ran on depoliticizing the Kentucky AG’s office. He made it more political.

By Jesse Valentine - November 03, 2023
Republican operatives sound every alarm on current trajectory of 2023 governor’s race

Republican operatives sound every alarm on current trajectory of 2023 governor’s race

By Adam Ganucheau, Mississippi Today - October 24, 2023
Utah lawmakers want to repeal abortion clinic ban hoping it will speed up trigger law case

Utah lawmakers want to repeal abortion clinic ban hoping it will speed up trigger law case

By Katie McKellar, Utah News Dispatch - February 27, 2024
Republican Bernie Moreno opposes existence of minimum wage

Republican Bernie Moreno opposes existence of minimum wage

By Jesse Valentine - February 23, 2024
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott floats building a wall on the Oklahoma border

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott floats building a wall on the Oklahoma border

By Jesse Valentine - February 22, 2024
More than 48,600 18-year-olds are registered to vote in Ohio, a 35% increase from late August

More than 48,600 18-year-olds are registered to vote in Ohio, a 35% increase from late August

By Megan Henry, Ohio Capital Journal - February 22, 2024
Not if, but when: Parents of slain Parkland students urge Utah lawmakers to pass school safety bill

Not if, but when: Parents of slain Parkland students urge Utah lawmakers to pass school safety bill

By Kyle Dunphey, Utah News Dispatch - February 21, 2024