Issue One today joined a crosspartisan coalition of 30 organizations in thanking House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for her leadership in creating a new pay floor of $45,000 per year for House staffers.
“Congressional staff are crucial to the success of Congress. Your unprecedented action to ensure a living wage for all staff will open the door to public service for many who have been excluded and demonstrates a baseline commitment to the well-being of all those who serve the American people,” stated the letter sent to Speaker Pelosi today.
Speaker Pelosi announced the new minimum annualized salary for House staffers last week. For months, many on and off Capitol Hill, including Issue One, had been calling for a pay floor to help Congress better reflect and serve the American people.
Low wages — especially for junior staff — have long been an issue on Capitol Hill. Issue One’s “Fair Pay” report, published earlier this year, found that 13% of D.C.-based congressional staffers made less than a living wage in 2020, according to an analysis of payroll data from LegiStorm. That year, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology estimated that the “minimum subsistence wage” in Washington, D.C., for an adult with no children was $42,610.
Among those making less than a living wage in 2020 were 70% of D.C.-based staff assistants, the most common entry-level position on Capitol Hill.
Today’s letter to Speaker Pelosi cited Issue One’s “Fair Pay” report, stating: “This decision could not come too soon. A recent report found that one-in-eight staffers earned below a living wage. Because of your leadership, this will soon be a thing of the past.”
The full list of signatories of this letter are as follows:
American Family Voices
American Federation of Teachers
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO
Coalition on Human Needs
Congressional Management Foundation
Economic Policy Institute
Equal Rights Advocates
Free Government Information (FGI)
Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies
National Education Association
National Employment Law Project
National Partnership for Women and Families
National Women’s Law Center
NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice
Pay Our Interns
Progressive Democrats Of America
Project On Government Oversight
The Restaurant Opportunities Center of Washington-DC
The Restaurant Opportunities Center of Mississippi
The Restaurant Opportunities Center of New Orleans
The Restaurant Opportunities Center of Pennsylvania