Employees working for members or committees of the House of Representatives will have the opportunity to achieve higher pay levels, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announcing on August 12 that the maximum annual rate of pay for staff of the House would be set at $ 199,300.

“This ordinance will help Congress recruit and retain the exceptional and diverse talent we need, as it also helps ensure parity between House of Representatives employees and other federal government employees,” the Democrat wrote. Californian in a letter to members. .

The new caps for House staff would align earning potential with members of the Senior Executive Service as well as high-level, scientific and professional positions. The general program is capped at $ 172,500 and the executive program is capped at $ 221,400. Some federal governments earn more than these caps because of special hiring and compensation arrangements.

According to the Congressional Research Service, the maximum salary for House employees has increased over the past 20 years, but has not kept pace with inflation. The 2001 salary cap of $ 140,451 equates to approximately $ 204,258 in 2020 terms. Meanwhile, the salary in 2020 was capped at $ 173,900.

The average salary for many House staff positions has also declined relative to inflation.

Based on 2020 dollars, office managers and executive assistants earn 24.4 and 21.1 percent less, respectively, than in 2001. Only legislative correspondents, social workers and chiefs of staff saw their wages increase, and none exceed 4 percent.

The exact average salary figures vary widely by position, but staff assistants, legislative correspondents, field representatives, and constituent service representatives all earned an average of $ 50,000 or less in 2019.

Many Congressional staff also work in Washington, DC, a notoriously expensive city to live in.

“Many staff members often leave quickly due to the punitive schedule, relatively low salaries, high stakes and / or public derision. In fact, according to the 2019 House Compensation and Diversity Study Report, member office staff have been in office for an average of 2.5 years, while committee and board office staff have averaged 2.7 years. “Bradford Fitch, President and CEO of the Congressional Management Foundation, said in a May 6 hearing before the House Special Committee on Modernization of Congress.

“A legislative assistant in the House with three or more years of experience could easily increase his salary by 25 to 50 percent if he moved to a trade association or lobby shop. A Senate chief of staff can triple their salary in a few years after leaving Capitol Hill, ”Fitch said.

Pelosi cited the work of this select committee in its decision to increase staff compensation caps, noting that it was part of Congress’ efforts “to make the House more inclusive, open and representative of all voices and voices. values ​​of our communities “.

Jessie Bur covers the federal workforce and the changes most likely to impact government employees.