Jason Chaffetz is making a lot of noise in his last days as a lawmaker.
Chaffetz announced his retirement from Congress in April, but he isn’t done coming up with new ideas.
“I really do believe Congress would be much better served if there was a housing allowance for members of Congress,” Chaffetz told The Hill.
The outgoing lawmaker is arguing for a monthly stipend to ease the burden on those who sleep in their D.C. offices.
“In today’s climate, nobody’s going to suggest or vote for a pay raise. But you shouldn’t have to be among the wealthiest of Americans to serve properly in Congress.”
Chaffetz sleeps on a cot in his Capitol Hill office and thinks if there was a stipend for housing, the idea of serving in D.C. would appeal to more than just those who can afford to stay at a comfy place nearby.
Chaffetz however, didn’t seem to mind too much about sleeping in his office as he served five terms in Congress before announcing his retirement.
The lawmaker from Utah has three college-aged children and says the expense factors into his decision to resign.
“Washington, D.C., is one of the most expensive places in the world, and I flat-out cannot afford a mortgage in Utah, kids in college and a second place here in Washington, D.C.,” Chaffetz told The Hill. “I think a $2,500 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.”
What’s not healthy is D.C. lawmakers keeping their positions in perpetuity. Look what happens when a wealthy lawmaker like say, Nancy Pelosi, can be comfortable in Washington – they never leave!
But Chaffetz, argues Congressmen like himself are flying home nearly every week on the taxpayer’s dime and the housing stipend could off-set, and perhaps save the taxpayers money.
A curious position to take, given that Chaffetz himself had recently proposed an idea to move fed agencies outside the “D.C. bubble” in order to keep fed workers in touch with the real-world. And if anyone needs to be keeping in touch with the “real-world” it’s America’s lawmakers.
The housing stipend is not the only confusing position Chaffetz has taken in recent days.
Last week, Chaffetz went on an emotional rant, venting over the Trump administration. Among a slew of complaints, Chaffetz claimed Jeff Sessions was panning out to be worse than Loretta Lynch as Attorney General.
Since then, a Senate committee began an investigation into Lynch interfering with the FBI investigation covering Hillary Clinton’s alleged illegal use of a private email server.
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