Congressman Whines He's 'Stuck' With 6-Figure Salary
'I'm stuck here making $172K,' Rep. Phil Gingrey reportedly said
By Kate Seamons, Newser Staff
Posted Sep 19, 2013 6:35 AM CDT
Updated Sep 19, 2013 7:20 AM CDT
Rep. Phil Gingrey, R-Ga.   (AP Photo/David Goldman, File)

(Newser) – The latest politician to have his name splashed across national news over something he said is Georgia Rep. Phil Gingrey, who is finding himself under fire following a meeting of congressional Republicans yesterday. On the table was the ruling that allows federal lawmakers and their staffers to get a health insurance subsidy for use in the exchange markets. Gingrey wants to see the subsidy gone (he considers it special treatment), while others argued that dropping it would create a financial burden for themselves and their aides. The lines getting all the attention, as first reported by the National Review:

  • Capitol Hill aides "may be 33 years old now and not making a lot of money. But in a few years they can just go to K Street [ie, become a lobbyist] and make $500,000 a year. Meanwhile, I’m stuck here making $172,000 a year."

  • At Slate, Matthew Yglesias writes that "the world's tiniest violin is playing" for Gingrey, who, Yglesias points out, is making just a smidge over the median US household income of $51,017, and will enjoy a full pension once he stops working.
  • And Yglesias' figure is kind; ABC News points out that the median household income in Georgia is even lower, at $49,736; also, members of Congress make $174,000, not $172,000.
  • ABC News reports Gingrey is gunning for a Senate seat, as is fellow Georgia Republican Rep. Paul Broun. Broun had this to say: "While most Americans are struggling to make ends meet and battling higher health care costs, it’s disappointing that Congressman Gingrey, whose reported net worth exceeds $3 million, complains about being ‘stuck here [in Congress]."
  • He had at least one defender, though. Erick Erickson tweeted, "Good for Rep. Phil Gingrey telling Congressmen and staffers to suck it up."
  • And writing for the Washington Post, Aaron Blake reminds us that this is hardly the first such "oops." He gives a few examples, like when Rep. Sean Duffy in 2011 told constituents he was "struggling" on his $174,000 salary.

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Sep 20, 2013 9:24 PM CDT
Taxpayers pay for the senators and congressional health care. Even after they leave office! Let them pay their own, and their staffs health care. That would save a boat load of tax payer money and maybe assist with lowering the deficit!
Sep 20, 2013 8:38 PM CDT
He should have to pay his entire staff and their healthcare and benefits out of that salary and then he'll know how the rest of us live.
Sep 20, 2013 8:21 AM CDT
Am I missing something? It sounds like he was being snarky, not entitled. He is arguing that they should NOT be exempt.