Representative Jim Moran, who is not seeking re-election in
November, has objected to fiscal 2015 spending legislation that
calls for another pay freeze for Congress, keeping lawmakers'
salaries at $174,000 a year.
"I think the American people should know that the members of
Congress are underpaid," Moran told CQ Roll Call, a
congressional newspaper and website. "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
He said that in Washington, D.C., where housing is expensive,
some lawmakers live out of their offices to save money, while
maintaining homes in their legislative districts. Others live in
tiny one-room apartments.
Moran intends to offer an amendment to the Legislative Branch
appropriations bill that would provide a per diem allowance for
lawmakers to help cover Washington housing costs.
A Moran aide said this would not affect the congressman
personally given his plans to retire and because the close
proximity of his suburban Virginia district means he does not
need a second residence.
"Mr. Moran wants to ensure Americans aren't priced out of
holding elected office in Congress by the cost of maintaining a
separate household in one of the most expensive housing markets
in the country," the aide said. "The job shouldn't be limited to
those who can afford the cost of living in DC."
Despite foregoing the scheduled $2,800 cost-of-living increase
this year, lawmakers still earn more than three times the U.S.
median household income of $53,046 listed by the Census Bureau.
Moran, who represents the Washington suburbs of Alexandria and
Arlington, Virginia, is among the less well-heeled in Congress,
listing a net worth of between $1,001 and $15,000 on his 2012
federal financial disclosure statement, which excludes property
In 2004, Moran described himself as one of the "poorest" members
of Congress after racking up large losses in financial options
(Reporting by David Lawder; editing by Toni Reinhold)
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