Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) appeared on Fox News’ “On the Record” with Greta Van Susteren last Friday. He had some choice words for Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.), who recently requested a pay raise for members of Congress.
“I know a lot of people in the world who are underpaid. In fact, I live with one who’s a schoolteacher. But members of Congress are incredibly blessed and fortunate to have the jobs that we have,” Gowdy told Van Susteren. “Nobody makes us run. Every two years we offer for public office, and if you don’t want to do it, then don’t run. But the notion that you can make $174,000 in this country and be underpaid is laughable. We are better off than 99.9 percent of the people that we claim to work for, and I would be embarrassed to say that given our job performance and our salary, that we are anything other than grossly overcompensated.”
Since Democrat Congressman Jim Moran’s original statement about lawmakers not being able to live “decently” at their current income level, he’s faced a considerable amount of criticism from his colleagues in the House.
Van Susteren explained that she wouldn’t be opposed to a congressional pay raise if they actually accomplished things like tax reform, cutting the budget and immigration reform. However, Gowdy adamantly disagreed and reminded Van Susteren that there are many other occupations that do far more yet receive far less compensation.
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“There are equally important jobs like law enforcement and firefighters and education and anyone who takes care of children who make far less,” the House Republican noted, “My wife makes a fifth of what I make, my sheriff makes less than half of what I make, and they do a great job.”
Rep. Gowdy argued that “public service” means you “give something up” and get “compensation in other ways.” These benefits include “working in the capital,” “being a part of history,” and “being able to vote for your fellow citizens, all of which is priceless.”
“If you think you can make more money in the private sector, then don’t run for office. If you think you can make more money practicing law, then practice law,” the congressman asserted, “But don’t run for office and then complain about the salary because you know what it is when you file.”
Rep. Gowdy made some excellent points, but then again, Congress hasn’t really been known lately for its willingness to accept such common sense ideas. Fortunately, though, the South Carolina House Republican stated that, other than Rep. Moran, he is not aware of anyone else in Congress that feels the same way about getting a pay raise.
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