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

Clinton's future paycheck cut

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="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. irish

    Now if the media would only report the story about Obama's orginal true birth certificate that he has 3 law firms hired to supress the inforamtion

    December 11, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  2. Alexa- Chicago, IL

    It's okay.

    December 11, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  3. W O W WO W


    December 11, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |


    December 11, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |


    December 11, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  6. An American

    Still bad mouthing Hillary I see. Well, just wait until Mr. full of promises Obama gets in office and cannot deliver anything on his own. Before his first term is over the world will see just who Obama is and what he is all about. He already is going back on things he promised the far left, ha ha and going towards the center, I bet that frosts you guy hey, ha ha. Stay tuned, there is more to come. And by the way, Obama did not run a squeaky clean campaign and his true self will come out once he is the white house.

    December 11, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  7. Jerry - MD

    The right watchdog group are the onlyones who are making a big deal about the pay raise. Hillary will make $10000 more money without the increase in pay if she becomes SOS than her senate seat. The perks and benefits to be a top diplomat has no boundries not to mention the experience. She deserves to be SOS for crying out loud.

    December 11, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  8. Gibril Sallah

    How much will the president elect and his cabinet be paid? It would be interesting to see the salary ranges of top government US officials. Would a cut in the overall salaries of the US government as a whole save enough money to help the Economy? I think this is a question Jack Cafferty could help answer.

    December 11, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  9. Who Cares

    The job of SOS is essentially to administer the SD. Let's see, what has HRC administered? The health care fiasco when her husband was president. Hmm. That's not good. What else? Her presidential campaign. Even worse. BO's been making some pretty good selections so far, but this one may turn out to be a disaster.

    December 11, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  10. Obama 2008-16

    Actually, her salary of $186,000/yr equates to $3576/wk. Which is $71/hr for a 5 day workweek @10 hr day before taxes. Given that the average CEO make in excess of $500,000/yr. The salary is quite slight. President -Elect OBAMA knows a good deal when he sees it!!!!!

    December 11, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  11. That Other Jerry

    The intent of the clause and others like it is to keep an elected official from voting to inflate the salary of a job and then leave office to take that same job. It was never intended to keep a Congressman or Senator from leaving office to take another position. Congress is upholding the spirit and intent of the Constitution by lowering the salary. Judicial Watch is out to lunch on this one. They are just trying to promote a skewed reading of the Constitution to give Hillary some grief. They know perfectly well the SCOTUS would look at the existing precedent and let things stand.

    December 11, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  12. Mike in Philly

    "Did she give back all the extra pay as well?"

    How could she? She is not in the job yet, so she hasn't received any pay at all. After she is confirmed, Congress will raise it back, just as they did before. A real non-issue.

    December 11, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  13. Duane in Philly

    Arc wrote:
    Thank God Hillary Clinton was soundly defeated for the Democratic nomination because John McCain would have crushed her in the General Election.

    I disagree. Most americans placed blame for the economic crisis on the Republicans, and Hillary (just like Obama) would have benefited from it. However, I do think the race would have been closer because 1) African Americans would not have voted for Hillary in the large numbers as they did for Obama and 2) McCain would not had chosen Palin as his running mate if he faced Hillary.

    December 11, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  14. Brian G, Sugar Land, TX

    What is $ 5,000 to the Clintons, but pocket change.

    December 11, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  15. Obama 08'-16

    Actually her salary of $186k is $3577/wk. Which equates to $71/hr for 5 day work week @10 hrs/day. Given that the average CEO for a large organization makes in excess of $750k/ yr. I think he got a great deal. Look he's already managing resources more efficiently.

    December 11, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  16. TexasAnnie *-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*

    What "extra pay" are you talking about, Jim. Your comment doesn't make sense.

    I can't argue with Judicial Watch about the part of the Constitution here, but seriously people, do you think when she voted for that raise for Secy of State that she had any thought whatsoever that it might be her in that office in 2009? Personally, it would not have bothered me for her to get the raise in the new position. I think she's going to earn every dime of her salary and that she's going to be a great Secretary of State. Look for her to re-establish GOOD relationships with other countries that we've managed to tick off the last 8 years.

    December 11, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  17. Enitan

    Get a life Robert, you are sounding more and more like a SORE LOOSER.

    Move on or move out of the country. She will trample you hands down.

    December 11, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  18. Jim D

    Listen to these morons:

    "Agreed, Obama is not qualified"

    The power of stupidity is amazing.

    Obama is in every way qualified – he is at least 35 years old, a natural born citizen of the United States, and gathered enough votes to win in the electoral college, driven directly by citizen's votes, as certified by the Secretary of each of the 50 states.

    That's all you need to be President. All this other talk about "who is qualified" doesn't mean squat, as evidenced by the fact you voted Dubya into office....twice.

    December 11, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  19. epic fail

    "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."

    These people are already millionaires they might as well cut the pay to $1.

    Robert NYC: "Hillary Clinton should have been the president."

    yeah, probably, but my question is if she was president do you think she would have nominated Barack for a position as high as secretary of state?

    December 11, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  20. Sammi Gurl

    When u think about it, who IS qualified to b president. The answer... someone that has already held the office. There is no such thing as practicing 2 be president. Mc Cain is no more qualified than Obama. They both have a whole team of advisors behind them running the show anyways. Obviously Obama is a very smart, motivated person to have made it as far as he has. Plus there have individuals picked with less political experience than him.

    December 11, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  21. BABS68

    Is it me...or is it that I feel that the next step in rationalization should be the Senators/Rep taking a pay cut. I mean if you really think about it they have voted for pay raises evry year and have gotten them approved while the general population has not had raises or good benefits...dang they get that for free. I must ask...who's looking out for us common folk? A reality check is definately needed...?

    December 11, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  22. Sammi Gurl

    Besides why r u ppl. still debating if he is qualified r not? The point IS, he's got the presidency and he about 2 run with it. Regardless of what u ppl. think.

    December 11, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  23. Jackie in Dallas

    I agree, guys...move on. She will make an admirable Secretary of State. If she's content enough to accept the position, don't you think it is time you accepted that she lost the nomination and support her current venture?

    December 11, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  24. Republican not buying it..

    Pay cut??? Not much of a "pay cut" when the Obama campaign is paying off your $7,000,000+ campaign debt. Clinton will be Sec. of State soon and validate her title as Wicked Witch of the West.

    December 11, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  25. Danny G. Boca Raton, FL

    She is there to serve her country, I don't believe she is going to fret over the $5,000 salary cut... we need someone visible and respected around the world she will be a great secretary of State.

    December 11, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
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