Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.) lamented in a closed-door meeting Wednesday that his staff can get rich as lobbyists while he is "stuck here making $172,000," according to the National Review Online.

NRO's Jonathan Strong reports that Gingrey said that staff may not make a lot of money on Capitol Hill, “but in a few years they can just go to K Street and make $500,000 a year. Meanwhile I’m stuck here making $172,000.”

During the meeting, Republicans discussed a proposal to exempt lawmakers and their staff from a new law requiring them to participate in federal health-care exchanges.

Gingrey and other lawmakers expressed concern about the financial toll the new law would take on them on their staffs.

Gingrey announced in March that he would run for an open Senate seat in Georgia; he faces a crowded GOP primary field that includes Reps. Jack Kingston and Paul Broun. Two-term Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R) is retiring.

Lawmakers haven’t had a pay raise since 2009, when they received a 2.7 percent bump. Before coming to Congress, Gingrey was an obstetrician and a state senator.