Nearly 2,000 House Staffers Made Six-Figure Salaries in 2009

The folks running for Congress may find themselves having to explain why so many of them now have staff members making the maximum salary allowed by law.

Politco reported that about 2,000 Congressional staffers earned more than $100,000 a year in 2009:

"Starting salaries on Capitol Hill are still low -- many entry-level congressional jobs pay less than $30,000 a year. And many of the most highly paid staffers could make several times the maximum by jumping to lobbying and consulting jobs in the private sector.

"But the salary data, compiled for Politico by, show that it’s possible to make an enviable living in Congress, even without winning an election.

"The 43 staffers who maxed out at $172,500 -- the salary cap for leadership and committee staffers -- include John Lawrence, chief of staff to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi; Paula Nowakowski, the late chief of staff to House Minority Leader John Boehner; and House Parliamentarian John Sullivan. They earned only slightly less than rank-and-file members of Congress, who make $174,000."

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    Al Tompkins

    Al Tompkins is The Poynter Institute’s senior faculty for broadcasting and online. He has taught thousands of journalists, journalism students and educators in newsrooms around the world.


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