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Chaffetz says $174K House salary part of decision to resign, join Fox News

"I sleep in a cot in my office," Chaffetz said Wednesday.

By
Doug G. Ware
Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, is set to join the Fox News Channel as a political contributor, the network said Wednesday. He will start July 1. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI
Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, is set to join the Fox News Channel as a political contributor, the network said Wednesday. He will start July 1. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

June 28 (UPI) -- Future former congressman Jason Chaffetz has signed a deal to become a contributor on the Fox News Channel, the network announced Wednesday -- perhaps as a means for the Utah representative to earn a better living.

Chaffetz will leave his seat in the House at the end of the month and start at Fox News on July 1, the news channel said in a news release.

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"In this role he will offer political analysis across FNC and FOX Business Network's daytime and prime-time programming," the statement said.

The Republican chairman of the House Oversight Committee announced his resignation from Congress last month, a few weeks after announcing he would not seek a sixth term in 2018.

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His last day in the House is June 30. Utah will elect its 3rd District representative to replace him in November.

Chaffetz will become the latest in a long line of former Republican public servants who have joined the network -- including former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former presidential adviser Karl Rove and former press secretary Dana Perino.

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The decision to leave the House and join Fox News may have something to do with the size of Chaffetz's annual congressional salary -- which approaches $175,000.

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"I mean, look, we're paid a very handsome salary, but our home is in Utah. I didn't move to Washington, D.C. -- I sleep in a cot in my office," Chaffetz said in an interview on Fox News Wednesday evening.

"Faced with another 100 to 200 nights a year where my wife is by herself in Utah and I'm in a cot in Washington, D.C. -- as nice as the salary is -- I can't afford to have two places and have a quality of life I'd like to have at this point."

Earlier this week, Chaffetz called for members of Congress to receive a $2,500 monthly stipend to cover the cost of their housing in Washington, D.C.

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"If you're not a multimillionaire, you got dozens and dozens of us that can't afford two mortgages, kids in college and other types of things," Chaffetz added. "It's very expensive in Washington, D.C."

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