House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Friday she is instituting a $45,000 minimum salary for House staffers.
In a letter to all her House colleagues, Pelosi laid out her reasons for the first minimum salary for staffers in the House of Representatives.
“The House of Representatives is strengthened by the many contributions of brilliant, dedicated and hard-working staff, who every day enable us to best serve the American people,” Pelosi wrote in the letter.
“As Speaker, I have been proud to take steps to help bring a diversity of backgrounds and perspectives to every level of service in these hallowed halls — so that the Congress has access to the best talent in the nation and that our institution better reflects the people whom we serve.”
House lawmakers will have until Sept. 1 to make the change.
Pelosi said doing so will help “to improve staff retention and diversity in the House.”
Changes will also see the maximum salary climb from $199,300 to $203,700, a move that brings it equal to the Senate.
“With a competitive minimum salary, the House will better be able to retain and recruit excellent, diverse talent. Doing so will 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,” Pelosi wrote.
Entry-level House staffers can earn as little as $30,000, which can make living in an expensive city like Washington, D.C., difficult.
The average rent for a studio apartment in the nation’s capitol is currently $1,849, representing a 10% increase compared to the previous year.
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