WASHINGTON, April 9 (UPI) -- Rep. James P. Moran (D-Va.) announced a proposal Wednesday to allow members of Congress to collect a housing stipend while in D.C.
Representatives who live more than 50 miles from the capitol would be eligible for a voluntary housing stipend of $25 a day when Congress is in session, which amounts to almost $3,ooo.
Moran’s said his proposal would serve as a cost of living adjustment, “to reflect the challenges of maintaining a second home in the 5th most expensive real estate market in the country,” despite Congress already rejecting a proposed cost of living adjustment for the same amount.
In fact, Congress hasn’t approved itself a pay raise in over five years, and only last week Moran was complaining that lawmakers are underpaid.
Moran’s proposal comes on the same day Republicans used a filibuster to block a bill that would guarantee women equal pay and during a time when much of the country is debating raising the minimum wage.
"The House is supposed to reflect the people of this country," Moran said in a press release. "Don’t we want it to make financial sense for a 30-something physician, district attorney, city council member or small-business owner, who maybe has a new home mortgage, young children, or unpaid student loan debt, to serve in Congress? Federal elected office shouldn’t be limited just to those who are financially independent and do not have to give thought to paying out-of-pocket for living expenses while in D.C. We’re in the 5th year of a COLA freeze for Members’ pay. This reform would at least offer some relief from the cost of renting a second residence in the Washington Metropolitan area.”
Moran himself, who is retiring next year and lives close enough to the hill to be ineligible, wouldn’t benefit from the bill.