First-term Rep. Dan Crenshaw, a retired Navy SEAL who catapulted to national fame with a good-natured response to an off-color Saturday Night Live joke at his expense, has signed a six-figure book deal.
Congressional ethics rules prevent lawmakers from collecting anything other than book royalties after they become members. But those rules don’t kick in while a member-elect is still a private citizen.
Crenshaw is hardly the first member of Congress to sign a book contract before taking office, when income streams are limited beyond the annual salary of $174,000. The prohibition on book advances stems from criticism incurred in late 1994 by then-incoming House Speaker Newt Gingrich, for accepting $4 million from publisher HarperCollins, which he eventually returned.