Soledad O'Brien Grills Rep. Randy Forbes Over Salary (VIDEO)

01/16/2013 12:14 pm ET

CNN's Soledad O'Brien pressed Virginia congressman Randy Forbes over the Congressional Accountability Pay Act and his own salary on Wednesday's "Starting Point."

Last fall, Forbes re-introduced a bill that would cut the salaries of Congress members by the same percentage that federal spending increases. On Wednesday, O'Brien suggested the legislation "won't mean anything" because "most Congress people actually make way more money than your average American."

Forbes disagreed, saying that the act would tell lawmakers "you need to have some skin in the game. If you can't control spending and it goes up by 10 percent your salary goes down by 10 percent."

"But, sir, Forbes [magazine] said you make a lot of money," O'Brien countered. "That 10 percent of your salary in Congress which is roughly $170,000 something, that is not going to be a dent in your personal wealth."

Rep. Forbes said that the number given by the magazine "wasn't accurate."

"Forbes magazine says your estimated wealth in 2010 was just under $3 million, they're making that up?" O'Brien asked.

The congressman said that the magazine's figure was "very high" because it skewed towards the high end of a wide range for people's assets. "But I wish it were [true], Soledad," he joked.

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