May 6, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Pelosi to increase minimum salary for House staffers to $45K

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) walking in Congress on May 2.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) walking in Congress on May 2. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) will announce an increase to the minimum salary for congressional staffers working in the House of Representatives to $45,ooo starting Sept. 1, Punchbowl News reports.

Why it matters: The pay increase comes after staffers formally announced in February that they are seeking to unionize the offices and committees of Congress, a move supported by Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.).

  • Pelosi is also set to increase the maximum annual salary that House staffers can receive to $203,700 to match increases for Senate staffers.
  • The House will vote next week on a resolution to allow staffers to unionize, allowing aides to collectively bargain over working conditions, according to Punchbowl.

The big picture: Offices for members of the House had a higher rate of staff turnover in 2021 than they've had in decades, Axios' Stef Kight reports.

  • The move by Pelosi is also meant to retain talent on the Hill and "keep congressional aides from decamping to higher-paying jobs" per Punchbowl.
  • A survey of congressional staff by the Congressional Progressive Staff Association released earlier this year found that 47% of the respondents "find themselves struggling to pay bills or make ends meet."
  • More than a third of respondents said they have a second job in order to supplement their income, and nearly 40% said they "have taken out debt to make ends meet."

What they're saying: "With a competitive minimum salary, the House will better be able to retain and recruit excellent, diverse talent," Pelosi wrote in a letter to lawmakers obtained by Punchbowl News.

  • "Doing so will open the doors to public service for those who may not have been able to afford to do so in the past. This is also an issue of fairness, as many of the youngest staffers working the longest hours often earn the lowest salaries," she adds in the letter.
  • "The government funding legislation enacted in March included a 21 percent increase in the MRA for each office, which will more than cover this pay adjustment. It is highly encouraged that Members use this MRA increase to honor the committed work of your staff members."

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