House staff that are paid above a certain rate are limited in the amount of outside income they may receive. The House Ethics Committee announced today that the rate of pay for 2014 that triggers the limits is $120,749 or $10,062 a month. Anyone earning that rate for more than 90 days is subject to the limit. For 2014, the limit on outside earned income remains at $26,955.
This often comes up when Congressional staff also do compensable work for a Member’s campaign. Thus, if a chief of staff exceeds the $120,749 income limit, that person may not receive more than $26,955 in annual compensation from the campaign. Although it is not the campaign’s legal obligation to monitor these limits, it is certainly not in the candidate’s interest to have an Ethics Committee investigate staff for exceeding the earned income limits.
In addition to the restrictions on income, the $120,749 threshold is also the trigger for when staff have to file financial disclosure reports. Any employee who exceeds this rate of pay for 60 days or more is required to file an annual report. In addition, this salary level also requires written disclosure of job negotiations and recusal when there is “any matter in which there is a conflict of interest or an appearance of a conflict” when negotiating employment.