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 | 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.
"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.
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.
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.
"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.
"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."