WASHINGTON - Rep. Jason Chaffetz is set to officially resign from Congress on Friday. But before he leaves office, the Republican Utah congressman said lawmakers should receive a $2,500 per month housing allowance.
Despite having a salary of $174,000 a year while serving as a member of Congress, Chaffetz believes living in the nation’s capital is just too costly.
“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 said in an interview with 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.”
Chaffetz believes the housing stipend, which would cost taxpayers about $30,000 a year or around $16 million if you combine that cost for all 535 members of Congress, may save taxpayers money because it could lead more lawmakers to reside in D.C. full time rather than live in their offices or fly back home every week to see their families.
Chaffetz is stepping down from the House after being first elected in 2008. He also served as chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.