In case you were wondering, America, the reason your Congress has roughly the same legislative production schedule as a pack of rabid ferrets, well, Rep. Alcee Hastings, best known for his work on the Federal bench (which came to an abrupt end when he was indicted for taking bribes from defendants), has the answer for you.
America, your Congress doesn’t get paid enough. And unless you agree to give them what they believe they should earn, well, you’re only going to get what you pay for. Which is, at best, that pack of rabid ferrets.
Rep. Alcee L. Hastings made the politically tone-deaf case for raising salaries for members of Congress Monday, pointing to the high cost of living in the District of Columbia.
“Members deserve to be paid, staff deserves to be paid and the cost of living here is causing serious problems for people who are not wealthy to serve in this institution,” the Florida Democrat said at a Rules Committee meeting, referring to the average member’s $174,000 annual salary. “We aren’t being paid properly,” he later added….
Griping about members of Congress being “underpaid” put the Virginia Democrat at the center of an ongoing debate about congressional pay. Moran pitched a “very modest” housing stipend to help cover the high cost of living in the District — $25 for each day the House is in session, or about $2,800 annually.
Hastings, on the other hand, did not offer a specific amount that would constitute a raise. He said he did not file an amendment on the appropriations bill to raise member pay because he knew it would not pass. But he did say, “The least we could have done for ourselves is to give us a tax credit.”
At one time, this man was considered to chair the House Intelligence Committee. Fortunately, he had such an undeniable record of wrongdoing, that he was merely re-elected to his position in the House for the seventh time, rather than given a prime chairmanship. He lost that because he previously held elected office in the Senate, but was impeached and removed from office for his history of extra-curricular activities. Not one to take failure, he has remained in the upper eschelons of our hallowed halls of government for more than a decade.
The good news is, despite Hastings’s pleas, its unlikely that Congress will vote itself a pay raise. The threat of villagers with torches and pitchforks is still far too high. They’ll wait until more of you are employed and have less time to devote to storming castles.
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