Rep. Chaffetz Suggests Giving Lawmakers $2,500 a Month for Housing

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An outgoing House lawmaker who's leaving after serving since 2008 is saying that members of Congress should be given a $2,500 per month stipend to pay for housing in Washington, D.C., in addition to their salaries of $174,000 a year. 

In an interview with The Hill, Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah described Washington as one of the most expensive places in the world, and said, "I think a $2,500 [per month] housing allowance would be appropriate and a real help to have at least a decent quality of life in Washington if you're going to expect people to spend hundreds of nights a year here. 

There are dozens upon dozens of members living in their offices, and I don't know how healthy that is long-term." Chaffetz said he's among those who sleep in their offices when they're in Washington, saying, "I flat-out cannot afford a mortgage in Utah, kids in college and a second place here in Washington, D.C." 

Chaffetz, who's resigning at the end of June, also suggested that having a housing stipend would make it easier to have lawmakers who aren't rich, explaining, 

"You shouldn't have to be among the wealthiest of Americans to serve properly in Congress."

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