She wasn't commenting about people who are in a higher grade than her - she is commenting with people who are a higher grade than her. I don't know about your company, but we are high on values and this is considered inappropriate and unprofessional and at the very least insensitive especially concerning the fact that two people within the meeting are having their jobs moved out of state.
I've talked directly to her manager about it and the first thing he said was - that doesn't matter - we are supposed to look at this based on merit. (Her manager and I are peers). He stated the exact things I did - that at the very least it was an insensitive comment.