GOP Rep: My $174K Salary Ain't Worth This

Fla. congressman complains about lousy pay for dangerous job

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 26, 2011 6:09 AM CDT

(Newser) – A freshman GOP rep from Florida is taking some heat after suggesting his salary isn't worth the dangers of his job in the wake of Gabrielle Giffords' shooting, the loss of income from his family business, and the lack of free health care. “They’re shooting at us. There is law-enforcement security in this room right now, and why is that?” Rep. Steve Southerland asked a town hall meeting Wednesday, according to the Tallahassee Democrat. “If you think this job pays too much, with those kinds of risks, I’ll just tell you: This job don’t mean that much to me. I had a good life in Panama City.”

Democrats are inviting him to go back there, with the DCCC pointing out that Southerland makes four times what a police officer in his district makes. “It’s unbelievable how far out of touch Rep. Steve Southerland is with Florida families if he thinks his $174,000 salary is not so much,” said a Democratic spokesman. Southerland tells Politico that his words were taken out of context and clarified that his job in Congress is “one of the greatest honors of my life.”

Then-Rep.-elect Steve Southerland (R-FL) speaks to the media November 15, 2010 on Capitol Hill.
Then-Rep.-elect Steve Southerland (R-FL) speaks to the media November 15, 2010 on Capitol Hill.   (Getty Images)
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