Departing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi raised the maximum rate that lawmakers can pay House staff for a second time this year, totaling $212,000.
Earlier this year, Pelosi issued a directive that raised the pay rate from $199,300 to $203,700. She also issued the minimum salary pay for House staff of $45,000.
Pelosi defended her action, saying that it would help Congress retain quality staff who might potentially look for outside opportunities from private employers.
“As you know, our hard-working, patriotic congressional staffers are integral to the functioning of the House of Representatives," Pelosi wrote in a letter to House lawmakers, adding “to that end, we must do all we can to retain and recruit the best talent in our nation — and to build a congressional workforce that reflects the communities we are honored to serve."
Up until now, there were no rules that required House staffers to be paid a certain amount. House offices were allowed to negotiate staff pay based on the individual. Now, senior staffers can make more annually than their lawmakers who are their employees, in which they are paid $174,000 a year.
In May, Pelosi said the initiative to increase the pay rate was to expand the diversity of backgrounds and perspectives among the staff.
A study conducted by the Congressional Progressive Staff Association found that 47 percent of congressional employees struggle to make ends meet, often finding themselves looking for ways to supplement their income.
Pelosi is gearing up for her final days in D.C., making her exit after she was caught bragging about the Democrat’s huge spending bill, which President Joe Biden just signed from his fancy St. Croix vacation.