December 11th, 2008
02:56 PM ET
5 years ago

Clinton's future paycheck cut

Hillary Clinton's salary will drop to pre-2007 amount.
Hillary Clinton's salary will drop to pre-2007 amount.

(CNN) - Hillary Clinton's pay check has officially been cut.

Congress voted Wednesday night to reduce the Secretary of State's salary back to its pre-2007 level of $186,000 to conform to a clause in the constitution stipulating a member of congress cannot be appointed to a government job if the position's salary has increased during the lawmaker's current term.

Clinton's second term began in January 2007.

The conservative activist group Judicial Watch circulated the clause in question, Article 1, Section 6 of the Constitution, soon after President-elect Barack Obama announced he was nominating Clinton to the top diplomatic post. Noting the clause, Judicial Watch said it was illegal for Clinton to be nominated to the post since President Bush authorized a nearly $5,000 pay raise for job last January.

"There's no getting around the Constitution's ineligibility clause, so Hillary Clinton is prohibited from serving in the Cabinet until at least 2013, when her current term expires," Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement.

But lawmakers have gotten around the clause before in the same fashion they have now: with Congress changing the salary of the office in question back to what it originally was.

It happened when Ohio Sen. William Saxbe was named President Nixon's attorney general in 1974 and again when Texas Sen. Lloyd Bentsen became President Clinton's Treasury secretary in 1993.

While Clinton is missing out on the nearly $5,000 pay raise, she still stands to make about $10,000 more as secretary of state than she currently draws as a U.S. senator.


Filed under: Hillary Clinton
soundoff (166 Responses)
  1. Greg Pottstown, Pa.

    Only $186,000. How will she survive !!!!

    December 11, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  2. bridgette

    The election is over and the winner will be sworn in pretty soon, Robert, I think you need to let go.

    December 11, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  3. jennifer

    Robert and anyone else who is still hung up on theirs wants.

    Obama won the primary and won the General Election fair and square. You are wrong, Hillary shoud not be president because she lost the primary.

    Get over it, move on and grow up.

    December 11, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  4. annette mastermaker

    At first I was in favor of the Bail Out – now that every company, city and orginization has their hand out I have a better idea. I heard this as a joke but now it makes perfect since.
    The government should send every American citizen over the age of 25 a stimulis check for $100,000.00. Then the people, whose money this is anyway, will shop and put the money back into the econmy. We won't go on $440m spa retreats and we won't fly in private jets requesting help. The government won't have to pay an over seeer to watch how the monies are spent (another savings). $100,000. is not enough to retire on or stop working. It is enough to pay off dept , shop and get our lives back in order. Some families / friends may even combine their monies and start a small business.

    Thank you for listening
    Annette Mastermaker
    Hollywood, Fl

    December 11, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  5. fair and square

    Robert, NYC, and Joan:

    Last I checked, We the People chose Obama over Clinton and over McCain. Obama got the most votes, so he should be -and will be – President.

    Democracy sucks when you're on the losing end, because you've got no one to blame but your fellow countrymen!

    December 11, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  6. Van

    No matter how much you make, you have to really care about the country to take a pay cut for in many ways a harder job. I have faith that incoming Secretary of State Clinton will help the Obama Administration get us back on track.

    December 11, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  7. Hoosier

    December 11th, 2008 3:03 pm ET

    Some of those people in DC should try to live on 6.50/hour like some of the people out here in the real world.

    That's a brillian thought, BB. But it wouldn't be fair for Biden to make $6.50 an hour while his boss had the same paycheck. Or maybe we could let the Illinois governor buy the job of president by offering to work for $1 a year. . . not that such a move would make sense to him.

    The reality is I don't think we want to deprive our leaders of the compensation they earn. I want the good ones to get everything they deserve. . . . come to think of it, I want MANY of them to get what they deserve, because that would be a pay cut for most Senators and Congressmen and women.

    December 11, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  8. Joyce in Indiana

    The person who should be the president is the person whom the people elect. To suggest otherwise is an affront to the Constitution.

    December 11, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  9. Dan, TX

    I don't think that Clinton ran anything other than the expected level of negative campaign against Obama. So, I don't fault her for that. But the democratic party did make the right choice. Obama is a vastly superior leader than either Clinton or McCain. If he wasn't, he would not have won.

    December 11, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  10. James, Ho. TX

    Hillary's new salary of $186,000 will be well earned.
    Does not include the Cost of Air Force 3, Travel Expense, Secret Service Cost, Offfice and Stationary Expense; Nice Package, well deserved !

    December 11, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  11. Joe Texas

    Hillary is more than qualified to be President but she will do a very good Secretary of State and a few dollars cut llike that won't make a difference to her . We hope that u run again and the path will be much easier the next time, Let's just make sure that FL and MI don't move their primaries and it will be all her's

    December 11, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  12. Gene

    Like any official pay grade really matters here... the Clintons don't make the majority of their income from their official salaries.. they make their money on their books, speaking engagements, fundraising gigs...

    The official government salary is but a pittance as compared to what they make outside of that. I doubt she'll be hurting.

    December 11, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  13. Amber (Dem in FL)

    Its okay. The book Hillary will write after being Senator, Secretary of State, and running for President, will make her millions! This pay cut is nothing. Besides, she doesnt' do this work for the money....she does it because she cares and because she's an incredible public servant. Also, wait till she writes that book after she becomes the first woman President in '16. Now THAT will earn her hundreds of millions.

    December 11, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  14. Sheryl

    You guys... come on... It's over...

    There were no demons or angels in this past election. The name calling is unnecessary.

    Obama was elected fair and sqare, and deserves our support.

    Hillary was a strong candidate but she lost.

    And they are both politicians.

    Let's move on...

    December 11, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  15. No incumbents 2010

    She is a Clinton, I'm sure she will find a way to make up the difference.

    December 11, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  16. Gene

    I can't believe people are still crying about Hillary and that she should've been president. Should've, would've, could've.. she lost fair and square.

    Gore should've been president in 2000.. you still wanna cry about that?

    Kerry would've made a better president in 2004... still complaining?

    Obama won fairly, and he destroyed the McCain ticket... are you saying that we should ignore the laws and people's votes? The more you guys cry about Hillary, the more you're saying that people's votes and democracy shouldn't be our system of government. You don't like it.. I have a bridge in China to sell you.

    December 11, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  17. dustin

    awe looks like robert is hungry, how about a waaaahmburger and some cries, she lost, its over, move on

    December 11, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  18. Travis Bewley

    Every time I read about that line in the constitution I wonder what else in there is archaic, useless, or makes no sense. It is a joke that such a rule, given the circumstances, should ever hold someone from getting this position.

    December 11, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  19. Beverly, NYC

    Robert NYC & Clinton for President, it's going to be a long 4 yrs for you both, isn't it. Coulda, Shoulda ,Woulda, she lost, get over it!!!

    This salary is still more than the average American makes in a year. She won't starve. Bill can make more speeches and earn millions.
    I think she will make a good Sec of State.

    December 11, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  20. AMIRA

    Hillary Clinton is lucky to be getting the SOS position, after all the kitchen sink she use against our president elect Obama, he has a precious heart. God Bless Barack Hussein Obama our next President.

    December 11, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  21. balabanto

    It is pointless to carry a bitter torch for Hillary Clinton at this point. She totally came out of this smiling. I think she'll make a lousy Secretary of State and don't want the Clintons anywhere near politics ever again, but the decision has been made. She's making more money per year doing this, she's out of the country where she can't campaign against Obama, it shuts up Bill Clinton (I loved him when he was President, the problem is, he thinks that he still IS President), and it keeps her busy. Will she rise to the challenge? The question really is "Will her husband shut up and let her do the job?"

    December 11, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  22. Stacey

    @Clinton for President – Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda. Obama is qualified to be President and he didn't have to make up some imaginary story about being caught in the middle of sniper fire in Bosnia! Why don't you and the rest of the haters and racists wait and see what he does when he takes office instead of condeming him before he's even sworn in? Those must be some very bitter and sour grapes you're chewing on!

    December 11, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  23. pam Eugene OR

    As if the Clinton's ever counted on their paycheck to make them rich! Bill has found so many other ways to make money that they could easily donate their paychecks and never even feel the pinch.
    Robert NYC you really do need to get over it. I doubt that with the dreadful campaign Hillary ran and all the scandals surrounding her and Bill said could have beaten McCain.
    She is very lucky Obama made her SOS because she mostly like would not have been reeleceted to her senate seat.

    December 11, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  24. pam Eugene OR

    As if the Clinton's ever counted on their paycheck to make them rich! Bill has found so many other ways to make money that they could easily donate their paychecks and never even feel the pinch.
    Robert NYC you really do need to get over it. I doubt that with the dreadful campaign Hillary ran and all the scandals surrounding her and Bill said could have beaten McCain.
    She is very lucky Obama made her SOS because she mostly like would not have been reeleceted to her senate seat.

    December 11, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  25. Tulsa

    CRYBABIES. OBAMA WON, GET OVER IT.

    December 11, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
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