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. Liberal in Los Angeles, CA

    Now, that's what you call a pay increase!!! Even without the $5K!

    December 11, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  2. No incumbents 2010

    When the law doesn't work for the politician, the politicians change the laws.
    When are we going to kick this crooked, scandolous, money spending, unethical brood of vipers out?

    December 11, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  3. JL

    I'm glad these right-wing radical groups aren't winning. Don't get me wrong, I don't like left-wing radical groups to win, either. I live in the center and their childish games (fit-throwing). They make me ill. Hillary will make a great SOS. Obama is doing a fine job at picking his cabinet. I think Bush has done a few things well, too, though.

    December 11, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  4. RJ, Phoenix

    jim December 11th, 2008 3:16 pm ET

    Did she give back all the extra pay as well?

    For what?
    She doesn't even have the job yet.

    December 11, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  5. Liberal Fin Los Angeles, CA

    Robert, Joan, & everyone else who continues on with the foolishness, the race is over and she didn't win!!!! Get over it and get on board!!!! PE Obama will be your president too!!!!!!

    December 11, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  6. Vic

    She can afford it – and is getting the job of a lifetime!

    December 11, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  7. HSNP

    Sorry to burst your bubble Judicial Watch! Just kidding.

    December 11, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  8. JJ

    Who cares or do you think that would phase Hillary no. She wants the job no matter what the cost.

    December 11, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  9. Chris - Denver

    Somehow I think Hillary will survive without the extra $5,000.

    December 11, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  10. Phil in KC

    First, I feel real sorry for Hillary having to give up that $5K raise. I'm sure she'll get by without it somehow. I think it was what had to be done, though.
    Second, would all you Hillary fanatics get over it? She lost! She should be tickled pink that Obama offered her Secretary of State. I wouldn't have. Supreme Court justice, maybe. But not Secretary of State. It should have gone to someone with more foreign policy experience and more gravitas.

    December 11, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  11. Former Republican Army Wife

    Hey Jim,
    What extra pay should she give back? She doesn't have the job yet. thats the whole point of the story. She cant get the job till the pay cut takes affect, so what extra pay should she give back?

    December 11, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |

    the only people that are getting a pay raise are the corporate CEO's and politicians on Capital Hill...while ordinary folks like myself are praying NOT to lose their jobs!!!!

    December 11, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  13. Ian

    What's a constitution?

    December 11, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  14. Penny from California

    Hillary Rodham Clinton should have been "PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES"...

    Hillary Rodham Clinton is not about how much money she will earn. She is about how much she cares and what she can do for the people.

    December 11, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  15. Deb in Vegas

    Wow, I hope that $5000 cut in annual salary doesn't hurt her ability to maintain homes in NY and Washington, DC. Wait, since she'll no longer be the Junior senator from NY, she can sell her home in NY and just live in DC. But wait–Bill will want to have his own place, I'm sure, back in NYC near his offices.

    I'll sleep better tonight knowing she'll be okay with the $5K pay cut.

    Of course, I wonder how long it will take President-elect Obama to issue an executive order reinstating the pay raise once she's confirmed.

    December 11, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  16. dave

    it's nice to see the Constitution be amended to further "change" in this country. surely someone can sell her a cheaper seat.

    December 11, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  17. Phoenix

    Hillary would have been in JAIL if she were running. Lets not forget the open lawsuits that she still battled even during the primaries. How could the Democratic party call out Republican on corruption when the Clinton Whitehouse was crawling with it? These people who are bitter about Hillary, get over it. You need therapy like these people who are trying to find out if Obama is a citizen, like these people who still insist that he is in cahoots with terrorists, a "secret Muslim," etc. Get therapy. Better yet, get Jesus.

    December 11, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  18. paul (staunch Moderate)

    Robert NYC December 11th, 2008 3:03 pm ET

    Hillary Clinton should have been the president.

    I supported Hillary in the Primary, knowing full well that (overall) this country is still not ready for a woman sitting in that office. My wife and I discussed it and knew people would elect a man of color before they would put a woman there. Sad but true.

    The 'why' of it would be a good subject for discussion. My theory: The majority of men bow to their wives at home after having spent the first years of their lives bowing to their mothers; therefore, when it comes to the workplace and other 'positions of power' they have a tough time acquiescing control.

    As to the SoS position, any group such as Judicial Watch I suppose was right in bringing it up – but I certainly hope they didn't really think she'd be kept out of the position!

    December 11, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  19. Matt

    That Judicial Watch guy needs to STFU. He sounds like a crybaby neocon moron. Yeah yeah, I know, that's redundant...

    December 11, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  20. Mac

    It doesn't really matter who you think should have been president when you look at the salaries these politians make. The article stated that she will still make $10,000 more than as a senator. So I guess the average senator makes around $175,000 a year plus expense accounts. I wonder how much the average member of the house makes?

    If they really want to be public servants then maybe they ought to limit their salaries to the minimum wage and see how alot of people out here have to cope with only making $15,000 to $30,000 a year.

    December 11, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  21. The Bu

    Ladies and Gentlemen, the fact of the matter is that Hillary Clinton (the great politician she is) is NOT the President. If she and the future President have put this behind them, why can some of you? I think it's great that she'll be Secretary of State. This sets her up in, hopefully, 2016 to run AND WIN the presidency. Please move on cause I think she's gonna make an excellent Secretary of State and possibly one day we will be saying Madame President. Until then, let's support the votes that were cast.

    December 11, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  22. proudliberal-independent

    hillary should just stay in the senate. she has too much baggage and too little foreign policy experience. she had to make stuff up.

    December 11, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  23. anti palin pro women

    wow.............why can't she be like the mayor of N.Y....?????

    his pay check is only a $1.

    December 11, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  24. tomekia

    i think hillary clinton would make the best for secretary of state because she knows what shes doing. Never estimate the power of women. noone is better qualified for the job than her.

    December 11, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  25. issues all day

    and don't worry about her pay

    December 11, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
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