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Tennessee Congressman Scott DesJarlais

Republican U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais of Tennessee's nearby 4th District is taking seriously his opposition to out-of-control federal spending.

You may have read a recent article in the Times Free Press noting that DesJarlais has the second-lowest staff costs of any of the 435 members of the House of Representatives.

From the beginning of 2011 through this past Sept. 30, he paid his 14 local and Washington aides a total of about $431,000 -- roughly $31,000 apiece on average. The lone representative who had lower staff costs was Rep. Joe Walsh, R-Ill.

In Tennessee, the highest-paid staffs were those of Democrat Reps. Steve Cohen of Memphis and Jim Cooper of Nashville.

In general, the most expensive staffs work for Democrat representatives, and the least costly staffs work for Republicans. The highest-paid staff was that of Democrat Rep. Jerry Nadler of New York. His staff costs came in at nearly $982,000.

It is refreshing, however, that some in Congress draw a line, including in their own offices, against irresponsible spending.

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