U.S. Congressman Says Many of His Colleagues Are 'Struggling' Financially

By Mark Jennings | June 12, 2019 | 5:14 PM EDT

Rep. Jared Huffman (U.S. government photo)

EDITOR’S NOTE: As originally posted, this story included inaccuracies and omissions in the transcription of Rep. Jared Huffman’s answer to the question that CNSNews.com asked him. It has now been corrected so that the transcription is verbatim.

(CNSNews.com) -- Rep. Jared Huffman (D-Calif.) told CNSNews.com on Wednesday that many of his colleagues in the House of Representatives are "struggling" financially. He made the observation in response to a question about whether members of Congress, who now earn $174,000 per year, deserve a pay raise.

“I’ll let the body and the public opinion and other factors decide whether we get a cost of living increase," he said, "but I do know a lot of my colleagues are struggling.”

CNSNews.com asked Huffman: “Congressman Huffman, at $174,000 members of Congress get paid a salary that is 370 percent of the median earnings of a full-time American worker. Do you think the Congress deserves a raise?”

Huffman responded: “I think no one goes into this line of work to get rich. A lot of my colleagues are struggling with the fact that we have housing costs both in home, at our home district, in some cases where real estate values are very high and housing costs are high. And then you have to also have housing here in D.C. So, I know a lot of members are struggling."

“I’ll let the body and the public opinion and other factors decide whether we get a cost of living increase," he said, "but I do know a lot of my colleagues are struggling.”

According to the Congressional Research Service (CRS), regular senators, representatives, delegates, and the resident commissioner from Puerto Rico are paid an annual salary of $174,000. 

"The only exceptions include the Speaker of the House (salary of $223,500) and the President pro tempore of the Senate and the majority and minority leaders in the House and Senate (salary of $193,400)," reported the CRS.  "These levels have remained unchanged since 2009."

(YouTube)

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median annual earnings of a U.S. worker are $47,016. A salary of $174,000 is 3.7 times the median earnings of $47,016, or 370% higher. 

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