Some top staffers for the U.S. House look on track for higher pay, following a win for advocates who have pushed for such raises so lawmakers can attract and retain experienced aides and advisers.

“It is my privilege to announce an important new reform for our institution: raising the maximum annual rate of pay for staff to $199,300” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in a letter to colleagues on Thursday as the California Democrat issued an order on staff pay. “This order will help the Congress recruit and retain the outstanding and diverse talent that we need.”

Democratic and Republican proponents have argued that higher compensation for Capitol Hill staffers, along with other improvements, would help make Congress more effective and better equipped to stand up to lobbyists and executive-branch officials, who tend to have greater experience and bigger salaries. The maximum pay for Hill staffers had been around $174,000, in line with what most members of Congress earn, but now some high-level staff could get paid more than lawmakers.

The move on staff pay follows the recommendation of the House Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress, which is a bipartisan panel that has focused on how to knock the legislative branch back into shape. That committee tweeted that it was “great news” to see the Democratic-run House implement two of its recommendations — one on providing competitive wages, and another on creating a human-resources hub for staffers.

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House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, a Maryland Democrat, expressed support for Pelosi’s move to “de-link Member and Congressional staff pay,” saying in a news release that it will “ensure positions in public service are able to compete with the private sector for specialized and talented staff.”

“Raising staff pay reduces corporate influence,” tweeted one Democratic strategist, Zac Petkanas, as he reacted to the development. “The more inexperienced the staff the more likely they are to rely on lobbyists to write legislation. Higher pay on Capito[l] Hill disincentives more experienced staff from leaving.”

But the new order on pay also has its skeptics.

“I don’t think this fixes the real problem, which is the fact that junior staffers are paid an absolute pittance,” said one former Hill staffer, Steve Lieberman, in a tweet. “That should be the focus far more than what chiefs of staff are making.”

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