- 8 Capitol Hill staffers shared with Insider how they budget their monthly salaries.
- Some staffers’ salaries were so low, they qualified for income-assisted housing.
- This story is part of Insider’s continuing coverage of Capitol Hill as a workplace.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
They may walk the halls of Congress in neatly-pressed suits and help their bosses write important legislation, but their bank accounts tell a different story.
Entire paychecks eaten by day care expenses. Vending-machine ice cream for dinner. Hundreds of dollars going to a decade’s worth of credit-card debt. Relying on income-assisted housing to keep a roof over their head.
These are the real-life budgets of Capitol Hill staffers, who are paid starting in the $20,000s to work demanding jobs in one of the most expensive cities in the country.
As part of our coverage of Capitol Hill workplace issues, Insider asked current and former congressional staffers about how far their paychecks got them in Washington, DC. We received an outpouring of responses from staffers at all levels who felt compelled to speak up about what they considered a practice that hinders diversity, favors hires from privileged backgrounds, and drives talented minds to lobbying shops.
Their salaries ranged from $30,000 to $85,000 – but even the staffer on the higher end confessed that his entire paycheck gets eaten by childcare. You can read the full story here:
- Lots of congressional staffers make ‘poverty wages’ starting in the low $20,000s. 8 Capitol Hill aides break down how they stretch their paychecks to survive in one of the nation’s most expensive cities
Be sure to check out Insider’s additional reporting on Capitol Hill workplace issues:
- Congressional staffers are burned out and heading for the exits after a hellish year
- 32 years old and making $31,000: Capitol Hill staffers vent about unlivable pay and how they survive in one of the nation’s most expensive cities
- AOC and more than 100 lawmakers demand raises for Capitol Hill staffers as employees reach their breaking point with low salaries
- Capitol Hill staffers describe the 2nd jobs and side gigs they have to take to survive on low pay, from delivering takeout to bartending
Do you have a tip about Capitol Hill workplace issues to share? Bad bosses, toxic offices, or questionable behavior toward congressional staffers? Email firstname.lastname@example.org, or message 1-202-567-7343 on Signal, and we’ll keep you anonymous.