Hill salary increase proposal won’t amount to much
Such expenses squeezed Nathan Leamer and his wife Amanda out of their congressional jobs when they found out they were expecting their second child in 2013, just three years after they followed Leamer’s boss, Justin Amash, to Congress from Michigan.
“He really is a mentor, but you have to pay the bills,” Leamer said.
At first, the couple was happy to give up their $750-per-month carriage house in Grand Rapids, Michigan, to squeeze into a $1,200-a-month, 500-square-foot Pentagon City basement apartment with their Rottweiler. Leamer made about $40,000 a year as a junior staffer. His wife, a former press secretary for Idaho GOP Rep. Raul Labrador, made about $50,000.
When their first baby was born, they moved to a two-bedroom in Alexandria and made ends meet by taking in Leamer’s sister-in-law in exchange for free daycare.
But with two children, the situation was not tenable, Leamer said.
“I remember sitting in Longworth cafeteria and having a long debate about what we were going to do,” he said.