Politico reports this morning that almost 2,000 folks working in House offices on Capitol Hill make six figures a year – and that doesn’t include the House Members themselves. That’s a small slice of the folks working on the Hill, so it’s not like working in Congress automatically means you’re big pimpin’ and/or spendin’ cheese. But the explanation from the Chief Administrative Office is somewhat amusing (emphasis added):
“Staff are compensated appropriately according to their skill sets, length of career within the CAO … and in direct relation to the salary grade similar professional credentials could achieve in the executive branch or in the private sector in a major metropolitan area like Washington, D.C.,” said CAO spokesman Jeff Ventura. “Salaries are designed to retain the talent necessary to successfully maintain operations of the House of Representatives.”
Sometimes design doesn’t equal results. Not to say that the folks making this money don’t deserve it – considering they frequently work 20-hour days, spend lots of time away from their families, and have to be on call nearly 24 hours a day. But finding “the talent necessary to successful maintain” Congress isn’t a matter of salary – it’s a matter of votes.