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Published June 14, 2010 | FOXNews.com
San Francisco is a high-rent city. Just ask Nancy Pelosi.
The House Speaker's district office in the new federal building in San Francisco costs a whopping $18,736 a month -- the highest rental paid by any member of the House -- or, more precisely, the highest rental paid by taxpayers on behalf of a member of the House. The rental price was reported by Roll Call on Monday.
The Democratic congresswoman moved last fall from her old office in the Burton Federal Building, which she occupied for 20 years, to a "greener" space in the city's new federal building -- a move and a high price that her spokesman, Drew Hammill, says was amply justified.
Hammill cited the new building's increased security measures and the new office's larger size as reasons for the move -- and the expense. "The new office space is 3,075 square feet, nearly a third larger than the old space, which was of inadequate size," he told FoxNews.com.
"As speaker, the security needs are different," he said. "The new San Francisco Federal Building offers enhanced security features, which were a major factor in the decision to move offices."
The new office, he said, also is "more centrally located," provides easier access for constituents "via public transportation," and the building consumes "less than half the power of a standard office tower, saving taxpayer funds on utility costs."
Pelosi's constituency hasn't significantly expanded in size, but her San Francisco staff has increased to a size that requires a larger space for files and storage, he said -- though he did not provide a precise number. The difference in office size is approximately 1,000 square feet, he said.
Roll Call reported Monday that Pelosi's new office space costs almost double that of the next-highest rental office held by a House member. Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., reportedly pays just under $10,600 a month for his office in New York's Soho neighborhood.
The newspaper, which cites a database produced by the Sunlight Foundation, also reports that other lawmakers, like Democratic Reps. Stephen Lynch of Boston and Diane Watson of Los Angeles, pay exorbitant rental fees for their offices -- $9,000 to $10,000 a month.