December 19th, 2008
06:41 PM ET
10 years ago

Bush signs off on Clinton pay cut

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

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

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Bush cleared the way Friday for Hillary Clinton to become secretary of state, signing a law that removes a potential constitutional barrier for the New York senator’s nomination by reducing her prospective pay as the nation’s top diplomat.

Congress voted in 2007 to raise the secretary of state’s salary by $4700. That move meant Clinton’s nomination was in conflict with Article I, section 6 of the Constitution, which prohibits members of Congress from raising the salary for a government job, then leaving the Capitol to fill the position themselves.

If she is confirmed, Clinton’s new salary will be $186,600 – less than the $191,300 now earned by current secretary of state Condoleezza Rice, but more than her current Senate salary of $169,300.

Filed under: Hillary Clinton • Popular Posts • President Bush
soundoff (307 Responses)
  1. RS

    Now we know what all the wall street executives, bankers, and union haters are worth, somewhere less than $186,600 with NO bonus.

    December 19, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  2. bob

    doesn't anyone care that they just changed a law to make one senator happy!!!!!!! i wonder how many tax dollars were used to get that law inacted??!! why have laws,they are only for us. the politicians change the laws as they need them.

    December 19, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    So... why are we paying senators $169,000 a year when millions of Americans are having so many issues? Nice.

    December 19, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  4. Patrick

    Ah that's got to feel good to sign something to take her down a peg.

    December 19, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  5. George

    So she gets the pay cut for now, then when she gets confirmed, the congress can vote her a pay raise again, thus going around the issue.

    This is not a big deal, folks....move along... 😉

    December 19, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  6. S Callahan

    By law she has to take the pay cut if she wants to be SOS...she'll get more $ in the SOS positioin....but because the pay was raised on her watch in the Senate she can not (constitutionally) be a SOS without taking a pay cut.........she is just going by the book..right now...

    December 19, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  7. Idiot


    She voted for the salary increase, along with other Senators, without knowing she'd get the job in the future or getting benefits from the vote. This is just a constitutional issue.

    For those who have hated Hillary and kept whining about public service jobs, you guys just soooo ignorant! Talk is much easier than do. Try it yourself, if you're capable to get a seat, then criticize people later, fair enough?

    December 19, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  8. Mike

    Dave – She may have been making "only" $180k while spending millions to run for president, but she was largely spending other people's millions. What I'm more concerned about is Hillary, Barack, and McCain were so willing to spend millions upon millions for a position that pays $400,000 a year. Clearly there are some extremely large kickbacks occurring behind the scenes….

    December 19, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  9. Charles

    Jane – In response to your comparison to CT Superintendents, Hillary will make much more in comparison. She'll basically be stashing that $160,000/yr away. She'll get per diem, free flights, free security, free hotel, etc. during all of her time away from "home," so in actuality she's making $$millions a year.

    December 19, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  10. Scott W.

    If the president has the authority to override the Constitution with the stroke of a pen, then the Constitution is meaningless, and if the Constitution is meaningless, America is dead. And the sheep (Democrats) cheer for their fascist masters.

    R.I.P. U.S.A.

    December 19, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  11. Dink

    Another overpaid least the Secretary of State salary is heading in the right direction. Governmental salaries and compensation packages should somehow be linked to the overall welfare of the citizens.

    That means that at this time, they should be paying us for the privilege of serving.

    December 19, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  12. Alex

    I love the fact people seem to think political office should be a volunteer position. Snark all you like about whether Senator A or Representative B earned their salaries, a Secretary of State job is a 24/7/365 position. The person filling it should be getting double as far as I'm concerned.

    December 19, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  13. Callie

    Marge go a way. Obama birth certificate is old news. Lets get on with the current news. The election is over.

    December 19, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  14. EndTheH8_dot_org

    It is Hillary-ious listening to all you bloggers b&tch and moan about the Clintons. I am absolutely loving it that Hillary will remain in the spotlight. It is exactly what you deserve for being a snake and turning against her. She would have made a d@mn fine President. She WILL make one hell-of-a-fine Secretary of State. Go Hillary!

    December 19, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  15. G.R.I.T.S. - Girl Raised in the South

    Wow, so many Clinton bashers. Where did all these Negative Nancys come from? I guess since there aren't any articles on which they can lovingly address the issues of Republicans like Palin and McCain, they have turned their attention to criticizing the Clintons. Man. I'd hate to live my life being so negative! Although, I do have to point out with some amount of glee that Bristol Palin's baby-daddy's mama got busted for dope. Interesting, eh?

    December 19, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  16. Marc

    Imagine that, a Clinton getting around rules.

    December 19, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  17. Don't Blame Me, I voted for McCain

    From these comments: Looks like the Left is starting to eat their own. Stop the Hate and just hold your hand out – Pres. Elect Obama will place some cash in it for you. You know spread the wealth. Welfare for all!!!

    December 19, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  18. Perspective, people.

    It makes me smile to hear these comments. So many of you have no idea what you are talking about.

    The money is nothing. Nothing.

    It may be to you, but in perspective it is meaningless. This person will be making decisions and influencing world leaders. Billions of dollars and lives will be affected on a daily basis.

    Keep educating yourselves until you understand that.

    Why do CEO's make millions? Why do athletes and entertainers make millions? Why do many of us not?
    Because these people are directly responsible for billions of dollars in other places.
    It isn't all random. A politician making a few hundred thousand is meaningless.

    December 19, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  19. CanIcallyouJoe

    The only thing Bush has done so far to actually make the transition easier.

    December 19, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  20. norma - Wisconsin

    If Mr. Bush were a magician, he couldn't pull more tricks out of his hat. He sure knows how to skin a cat (excuse the term). Everything he does is so obvious – but this of course would have been vetoed, had Hillary been a Republican.

    Its so sad, its laughable – as to what this President can and will do. Before he leaves office, he will do every dastardly deed anyone can present him with. I'm still waiting for all his cronies to be pardoned, and never again to be questioned on their pedofilia; embezzlement; fraud; prostitution; money laundering and others. He will always have these same friends to pal around with after he leaves office. What a dastardly example of low life he is.

    December 19, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  21. Ia Guy

    @Dave December 19th, 2008 3:26 pm ET

    She was getting paid $186,000 to run for a president. So she was earning $186K a year and spending millions of money on a Presidential campaign. Great money management.

    I think now those 3 am calls are coming from collectors. I am sure she's there to answer.

    She'll be there to answer the phone no matter who's calling. I love it! Different kind of politics, indeed. Way to go, Mr. O!

    December 19, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  22. FM from MN

    Hey Scott,

    This is not the first time something like this has happened. And if u look carefully at the constitution only congress has the power to introduced a bill into law, not the president.

    December 19, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  23. Sawduster

    For those worried about violations of the Constitution, please read up on:

    "Emoluments Clause, Saxbe Fix"

    See that Taft and Nixon were faced with similar "unintended consequences" and came to a "common sense fix"

    So before you blame Obama for destroying the nation, realize that his administration is not the first to make such an adjustment.

    Also realize that President Bush signed off on it as it makes sense AND the pay level has NOTHING to do with "Condi vs Hillary".

    Please folks, we have real issues to expend energy about.

    December 19, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  24. Matt

    Best US Senator is debatable. She sometimes would forget about most of the state.

    December 19, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  25. Mick

    Don't worry about the pay cut. I am sure she will figure out a way to make it up in gifts etc.

    December 19, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
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