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Congressman: The Pay's Not That Great, and We Get Shot At

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Rep. Steve Southerland, R-Fla., has had it with people who complain that members of Congress are overpaid and enjoy cushy benefits.

Florida Capital News reports that during a town hall meeting at a retirement community in his district, Southerland took issue with those who questioned whether pay and benefits for lawmakers were too lavish.

"If you took the hours that I work and divided it into my pay," the rate wouldn't seem that high, he said. Plus, ethics rules prevent him from having any contact with his family business, Southerland griped.

On the subject of benefits, Southerland said, "the health insurance plan that I have is no different than any other federal employee's in the United States government. I pay my portion."

"And by the way, did I mention? They're shooting at us," Southerland added, in a reference to the attack earlier this year on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz. "There is law enforcement security in this room right now, and why is that?"

(Hat tip: Talking Points Memo)

Tom Shoop is vice president and editor in chief at Government Executive Media Group, where he oversees both print and online editorial operations. He started as associate editor of Government Executive magazine in 1989; launched the company’s flagship website, GovExec.com, in 1996; and was named editor in chief in 2007.

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