The Fix Is In

The Senate and then the House, in voice votes last night that left no fingerprints, quietly approved a measure to scale the Secretary of State’s pay back to its 2007 level, down from $191,300 to $186,600 a year. The measure now goes to President Bush. The White House says he’ll sign it.

The move, popularly known as the “Saxbe Fix,” is an effort to deal with the Constitution’s quite explicit emoluments clause, which says that no member of Congress shall be named to any office "the emoluments whereof shall have been increased during his term."

So Secretary of State-designate Hillary Rodham Clinton, who was in the Senate when the secretary's salary was last increased, will be taking a pay cut of $4,700 a year when she takes the job. This could hurt, especially if Bill’s speechmaking income takes a hit from the new arrangements.

By Al Kamen  |  December 11, 2008; 2:10 PM ET
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