Sources: The White House [press release], Rep. Mike Rogers, Congress Bill Text [PDF], The New York Times
quote: No, you cannot pay them the average living wage. While it is a sacrifice to be a public servant, you cannot penalize them so much to be a member of Congress. If you paid the average wage, what incentive would a qualified person have to run? Remember they have families and bills too, and they likely can't put that on hold to realize their dream of running for congress.
quote: Unless you want those people to live in poverty indefinitely, something will have to change.
quote: I was talking to my fiance who works for a real estate company and she was saying girls who work at some of their apartment complexes always have the best examples of this. Cited an example of them calling a tenant who was sobbing about how she couldn't pay her rent. At the end of the phone call, the employee told the tenant "Oh yeah. And your new HDTV is here at the office so you can come pick it up."THAT is the "poverty" that largely exists today.