Chaffetz: Money 'partly' responsible for decision to leave Congress

Rep. Jason ChaffetzJason ChaffetzRepublicans spend more than million at Trump properties House Dems seek to make officials feel the pain Lawmakers contemplate a tough political sell: Raising their pay MORE (R-Utah) acknowledged Wednesday that money was "partly" responsible for his decision to leave Congress.

"I mean, look, we're paid a very handsome salary, but our home is in Utah. I didn't move to Washington, D.C. I sleep in a cot in my office," Chaffetz said on Fox News.

"And faced with another 100 to 200 nights a year where my wife's by herself in Utah and I'm in a cot in Washington, D.C. — as nice as the salary is — I can't afford to have two places and have a quality of life I'd like to have at this point," he said.

Chaffetz, in an interview with The Hill this week before he leaves Congress, called for lawmakers to receive a $2,500 monthly stipend to help them cover the cost of housing in D.C.

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That proposal suggested that financial concerns were part of the Utah Republican's decision to leave Congress at the end of June, more than a year before his term is set to expire.

By giving lawmakers a housing stipend, he said Wednesday, lawmakers might not feel obligated to return to their states or districts every weekend and could maintain a higher quality of life.

But as it stands, he said, serving in Congress is a "rich man's game."

"If you're not a multimillionaire, you got dozens and dozens of us that can't afford two mortgages, kids in college and other types of things," he said. "It's very expensive in Washington, D.C."

After leaving Congress on Friday, Chaffetz is set to become a contributor for Fox News, which the network officially announced on Wednesday.

Chaffetz says he plans to write a book and do some consulting work.