Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA), who’s running for Senate in Georgia, complained that while his staff can jump to K Street and make $500,000 a year by lobbying, he’s “stuck” in Congress making a bare $172,000 a year.
The comments, relayed by congressional aides to National Review, came during a closed door meeting among Congressional Republicans on Obamacare.
The lawmakers were debating a proposal that would exclude members of Congress and their staff from a part of Obamacare that requires them to engage in federal health care exchanges. A number of lawmakers complained that participating in the exchanges would be costly. Gingrey, according to NR, stood up and said that Congressional aides “may be 33 years old now and not making a lot of money. But in a few years they can just go to K Street.”
“Meanwhile I’m stuck here making $172,000 a year,” he added.
In a followup phone interview with National Review Gingrey told the conservative magazine that he did not remember making the comments. The Georgia congressman said his point was that “it is completely unfair for members of Congress and Hill staffers to get this special treatment that the general public are not getting.”
Gingrey added that he “was engaged in a dialogue with some members of our conference who truly believe that Congress should get special treatment. And some also believe that staff members should get special treatment. I happen not to believe that.”