A Georgia Republican congressman was caught complaining about what he described as a low salary in a closed-door meeting with fellow party members concerning the Affordable Care Act, the National Review reported.
During a discussion concerning a possible exemption for lawmakers and staff members from taking part in the state health exchanges mandated by the new law, Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA) reportedly lamented that aides can become lobbyists "and make 500,000 a year. Meanwhile I'm stuck here making $172,000 a year."
Gingrey subsequently told the Review that while he did not remember his exact comments during the meeting, his point in objecting to that specific clause, made possible thru a ruling by the Office of Personnel Management, was that "it is completely unfair for members of Congress and hill staffers to get this special treatment that the general public are not getting."
But some of Gingrey's fellow Republicans reportedly cautioned against speaking up against the exemption, since eliminating it meant potential paycuts for themselves. Rep. Frank Lucas (R-OK) reportedly said at the meeting that cutting the exemption would cost him 7 percent of his earnings.
"Before you support this, go home and talk to your wife," Lucas reportedly advised his colleagues.
USA Today reported that Gingrey's net worth is estimated to be between $3 million and $7.6 million, while the median household income in Georgia is $49,736.
[Image via Rep. Phil Gingrey Facebook page]