As he gets set to leave office on Friday, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, is calling for congressional lawmakers to receive a monthly $2,500 housing stipend, The Hill is reporting.
Chaffetz, who has resigned from Congress, said the stipend will help ease housing costs for lawmakers who maintain two residences — one in their home states and the other in the Washington, D.C. area, the website reported.
"I really do believe Congress would be much better served if there was a housing allowance for members of Congress," Chaffetz told The Hill.
"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."
The Hill reported Chaffetz sleeps in his office whenever he's in Washington.
"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.
"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."
He said $174,000 a year is a "handsome" congressional salary, but not enough to meet housing costs for many lawmakers.
Chaffetz has grown tired of having to sleep on a cot in his office, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.
"It's certainly not a glamorous life — sleeping in a workspace, showering in the House gym — and he gets to leave that behind when he departs Congress," the Tribune's Thomas Burr wrote.
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