Virginia Democrat James P. Moran is claiming that members of Congress, who collect an annual salary of $174,000, are underpaid. Moran stated to CQ Roll Call, “I think the American people should know that the members of Congress are underpaid. 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 world.”
Moran spoke during the session of the Legislative Branch subcommittee, where the bill outlining salaries for Congress was being marked up. He said he will try to add an amendment to the Legislative Branch bill when it reaches the stage of the full committee markup.
Moran complained that there are congressmen and women who have been residing in their offices, and others in “small little apartment units” in order to save money, and the necessity of living apart from their families was a major problem. He added that state legislators receive a per diem allowance, and protested that federal legislators should also receive such a stipend. Moran has not committed to how much he thinks the per diem should be.
Meanwhile, GOP members of Congress brought a Legislative Branch appropriations bill that would continue the freeze on salaries instituted in 2010.
Moran said of his mission, “this is wholly quixotic,” but insisted that its longshot status would not deter him from proposing the change in salaries. He said, “Our pay has been frozen for three years and we’re planning on freezing it a fourth year. … A lot of members can’t even afford to live decently in Washington.”