Retiring Rep. Jason Chaffetz Calls for Extra $2500 for Housing Congressmen

Chaffetz: Lawmakers Should Receive Monthly $2500 Housing Stipend

"Washington, D.C., is one of the most expensive places in the world, and I flat-out can not afford a mortgage in Utah, kids in college and a second place here in Washington, D.C.", Chaffetz told The Hill during an interview in his Capitol office.

"In today's climate, nobody's going to suggest or vote for a pay raise". He says giving members of Congress a housing allowance would help ease the financial burden on many members.

The D.C. area lawmaker's claim that federal legislators are "underpaid" was met with a backlash, although several of his colleagues have echoed the complaint since.

Some members of Congress sleep in their offices, he added, due to the pricey real estate market in the District of Columbia and the surrounding suburbs.

While Chaffetz could ultimately return to politics as a candidate for governor in 2020, he said the prospect had nothing to do with his resignation from Congress.

The Utah congressman, who served as the chairman of the House committee that oversees the District, is now calling for a housing stipend for federal lawmakers because the the rent in D.C.is just too damn high.

But Chaffetz, argues Congressmen like himself are flying home almost every week on the taxpayer's dime and the housing stipend could off-set, and perhaps save the taxpayers money. He has spent 1,500 nights away from his wife and children during his eight-plus years in Congress.

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Chaffetz wants members of Congress to get an extra $30,000 a year as a housing stipend.

Officials in leadership positions make a bit more. Lawmakers have numerous reasons to spend time back home, but many argue that more time should be spent on Capitol Hill.

A stipend of $2,500 a month would run taxpayers around $16 million a year if all 535 members of Congress received it.

'"It's not a tell-all, gossip-filled expose by any means, ' Chaffetz said".

The Utah Republican also might take on a role at Fox News, according to press reports, although he would not discuss the potential media job with the Hill.

Chaffetz continued, saying that it is "unhealthy" for Congressmen to sleep in their offices.

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