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.
Hillary Clinton's salary will drop to pre-2007 amount
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.