Nancy Pelosi raises congressional staffer minimum to $45K

Nancy Pelosi raises congressional staffer minimum to $45K

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is raising the minimum salary for congressional staffers working in the House of Representatives to $45,000 starting this September. 

In a Dear Colleague letter published Friday, the California Democrat touted the work of House staffers, saying the Chamber is “strengthened by the many contributions of brilliant, dedicated and hard-working staff, who every day enable us to best serve the American people.” 

To increase a diversity of backgrounds and perspectives among the staff, Pelosi announced two steps: raising the minimum and maximum wages as well as recognizing the staff’s right to unionize. 

As of Sept. 1, House staff members will receive a minimum annual salary of $45,000. The maximum annual pay rate has been increased to $203,700 – up from $199,300. Currently, many Congressional staffers are earning less than $42,610.

House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., joins fellow Democrats and activists seeking better pay as the House approved legislation to raise the federal minimum wage for the first time in a decade _ to $15 an hour,
In 2019, Pelosi joined fellow Democrats and activists seeking better pay as the House approved legislation to raise the federal minimum wage for the first time in a decade.
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File

The speaker said the competitive salary will allow the House to “better be able to retain and recruit excellent, diverse talent” as well as “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 said. 

A recent study conducted by the Congressional Progressive Staff Association found that 47% of congressional staffers surveyed “find themselves struggling to pay bills or make ends meet.” 

United States Capitol Building
Currently, many congressional staffers are earning less than $42,610.
Samuel Corum/Getty Images

While 31% said they work a second job to supplement their income, 39% said they “have taken out debt to make ends meet.

The pay adjustment will be covered in the 21% increase in Member Representational Allowance for each office approved in March. 

“It is highly encouraged that Members use this MRA increase to honor the committed work of your staff members.” 

Pelosi also revealed that the House will vote next week on Rep. Andy Levin’s (D-Mich.) resolution to recognize Congressional staffer’s right to organize. 

“When the House passes this resolution, we will pave the way for staffers to join in union, if they so choose,” she wrote. “Congressional staffers deserve the same fundamental rights and protections as workers all across the country, including the right to bargain collectively.” 

The steps come after Capitol Hill staffers began to push for unionization in February – a move even backed by President Biden

“He does. He supports the right of any individual to seek to join a union to collective bargain. And, of course, Capitol Hill staffers are certainly individuals who are pursuing that,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said at the time.

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