When It Comes to Pay, All Feds Aren’t Created Equal

It comes as little surprise to hill watchers that House staff are underpaid compared to their Senate equivalents, let alone executive branch and private sector staff, but we decided to dig a bit deeper. Just in time for the holidays (and those non-existent public sector bonuses) here’s a comparison of key positions in the House, Senate, and executive branch. We admit that the data is a bit old, like the Ghost of the War on Christmas Past, but it’s the best we can do with what’s available.


The shaded areas in the bars for the executive branch staff show a range of potential pay.

To rub it in, chiefs of staff might earn some $141,000 in the House, but they could rake in $164,000 in the same position in the Senate. In an equivalent position in the executive branch, people with experience as a chief of staff could make anywhere from $119,000 — $198,000. (We had to use a range, but with enough time in government, those step increases add up quickly.) They could make even more in the private sector, depending on their experience, education, and connections. And as lobbyists? Well, connections do count for more than expertise. Continue reading “When It Comes to Pay, All Feds Aren’t Created Equal”