Fla. GOP Rep: Salary Isn't Worth Danger, Hassle

Friday, 26 Aug 2011 10:21 AM

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A freshman GOP representative from Florida is taking heat after having suggested that his congressional salary is not worth the dangers of his job, reports Newser.

Rep. Steve Southerland told retirees at an event Wednesday that, although it is an honor to serve his country in political office, his position is not the cushy job that some might think.

“They’re shooting at us. There is law enforcement security in this room right now, and why is that?” Southerland said.

He cited the shooting of Democratic U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona in an assassination attempt, the loss of income from his family business, and lack of free healthcare as evidence that serving in Congress comes at a high personal price.

“If you think this job pays too much, with those kinds of risks, I’ll just tell you: This job don’t mean that much to me. I had a good life in Panama City.”

Democrats are firing back at Southerland, pointing out that he makes roughly four times the salary that a police officer in his district makes. “It’s unbelievable how far out of touch Rep. Steve Southerland is with Florida families if he thinks his $174,000 salary is not so much,” said a Democratic spokesman.

Southerland clarified his statements to Politico saying his words were taken out of context. He called serving in Congress “one of the greatest honors of my life.”


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