The approval ratings for Congress are near record lows and national spending is out of control — but one Democrat lawmaker apparently thinks that he deserves a raise.
Fed up with having to pay for his own living arrangements like every other American adult, Rep. Bennie Thompson — a Democrat from Mississippi — is insisting that taxpayers fund his Washington housing for him.
According to The Washington Free Beacon, the liberal has drafted a bill that would “change the tax code to allow House members to deduct their spending on housing in D.C. up to $3,000.”
The annual pay for U.S. congressmen is already $174,000 per year. That’s before additional benefits, including generous stipends. To put that in perspective, the median household income in America is about $59,000 annually, putting lawmakers near the top tier of earnings for simply being elected.
That’s just their salary. National lawmakers are also typically wealthy, with many of them multi-millionaires.
“The median net worth of a senator was $3.2 million, versus $900,000 for members of the House of Representatives,” Quartz Media reported in February. It must be rough to be a congressman with “only” about a million in net worth.
Thompson didn’t just stop with demanding more money from the pockets of taxpayers, however. He also wants entire buildings renovated into congressional housing so he can keep more cash in his own wallet.
“Thompson has also proposed turning a vacant building near Capitol Hill into apartments for House members at the expense of taxpayers, which critics have dubbed a ‘Congressional Animal House,'” reported the Free Beacon.
“The taxpayer-watchdog group Citizens Against Government Waste criticized Thompson’s legislation and his proposed ‘taxpayer-funded dorms,'” the outlet continued.
While it is true that apartments in Washington are on the expensive side, it’s still a drop in the bucket compared to the take-home pay of national lawmakers.
“The claim that housing is unaffordable is belied by the average monthly cost of a studio apartment in Washington, D.C., which is $1,602, or less than 10 percent of members’ annual salary,” explained the CAGW. “The average American spends 33 percent of his or her annual income on housing.
In other words, our representatives are significantly more well-off than the average American, but some are still whining about needing more.
There are nearly two dozen co-sponsors of Rep. Thompson’s money-grabbing proposal — and you guessed it, they’re all liberals.
“The legislation has 23 cosponsors, all Democrats, including James Clyburn (S.C.), Hank Johnson (Ga.), Elijah Cummings (Md.), and Marcia Fudge (Ohio),” reported the Free Beacon.
Conservative lawmakers, including New York’s Rep. Dan Donovan, have rightly mocked the idea as being out-of-touch and unnecessary.
“I’m here to work, not relive my college days in a taxpayer-funded dorm,” Donovan told the Free Beacon. “Our national debt is over $20 trillion, so I don’t think it’s a great use of taxpayer funds to build Congress a dorm.”
If Thompson is so worried about the cost of living in Washington, maybe he should think about his party’s priorities — after all, the city has been run by Democrats nonstop since the 1960s and has gone blue in almost every single election.
The American people have had enough with politicians constantly complaining and grabbing more cash… and it’s no wonder Congress’s approval ratings are so low.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.