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Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) thinks members of Congress aren't paid enough.
“I think the American people should know that the members of Congress are underpaid,” Moran said. “I understand that it’s widely felt that they underperform, but the fact is that this is the board of directors for the largest economic entity in the world.”
Rank-and-file members of Congress are paid $174,000 annually. However, Moran says, it's just not enough, as members often have to maintain two residences: one in their home district and one in Washington, D.C.
"A lot of members can’t even afford to live decently in Washington," he said, noting that some of his colleagues sleep in their offices or rent "tiny" apartments to save money.
Moran plans to propose an amendment to the bill providing a per diem allowance for members to cover their housing costs. Although he acknowledges his amendment is highly unlikely to pass, he says he wants to publicly highlight the issue.
"You won't get a lot of votes," Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) said of Moran's proposal. "But you'll make a lot of friends."
This is a few days old, but it’s amusing nonetheless. Barack Obama appeared in a town hall for Spanish-language media on March 6th to discuss ObamaCare and promote enrollments, and got challenged by a viewer on the economics of it for low-income Americans who are now forced to buy comprehensive health insurance. On a $36,000 annual income, the requirement to buy the broad policy rather than something a little more economical — say, hospitalization coverage combined with an HSA, a strategy which is now all but illegal — makes it impossible to comply. Pshaw, Obama replied. Why, all those low-income folks need to do is stop spending money on luxuries like cable television and cell phones!
I'll just go ahead and admit my ignorance of the US congress pay structure here but is the figure $174,000.00 the bottom line for these guys? Can they not get kickback behind the scenes for voting this and that? I always thought they made those kind of "Tips" Am I wrong?
reply to post by minkmouse
I'll just go ahead and admit my ignorance of the US congress pay structure here but is the figure $174,000.00 the bottom line for these guys? - See more at: www.abovetopsecret.com...
reply to post by guohua
“I think the American people should know that the members of Congress are underpaid,” - See more at: www.abovetopsecret.com...
reply to post by guohua
All politicians are grossly overpaid, everyone knows it except them.
The speaker of the House is the most highly compensated member of Congress with an annual income of $223,500. The Senate president pro tempore as well as the majority and minority leaders in both the House and Senate all earn $193,400
Members of Congress are expected to focus most of their time on their legislative duties, but they are allowed to earn an outside income equal to 15 percent of the annual base pay for Level II executives in the federal government. Those executives currently have a base pay rate of $179,700, meaning senators and representatives can earn no more than $26,955 in outside pay each year.
Tax benefits. According to the Congressional Research Service, an agency that prepares reports for Congress, senators and representatives can deduct on their income tax form up to $3,000 per year of their living expenses while out of their districts.
Health and life insurance. Members of Congress are entitled to purchase health insurance through the Federal Employees Health Benefit Program and life insurance through the Federal Employees Group Life Insurance Program.
Nice Digs: A seat in Congress comes with office space -- lots of it. Not only do members move into an office on Capitol Hill, they maintain space in their home districts and states too. For senators, this benefit has a pretty high cap - up to 8,200 square feet. The CRS report said there is "no restriction" on the number of offices they can open in federal buildings in their home states. Plus senators get to shop at the equivalent of Congress' IKEA -- furniture supplied through the Architect of the Capitol. Every senator gets $40,000 -- and potentially more -- for furniture in their home-state offices.
Down Time: Perhaps there's no such thing as down time for a member of Congress, what with the constant shuttling back and forth between Washington and their districts, media appearances and constituent meetings. But the work week lately has been relatively sparse. The Senate has averaged about three working days on Capitol Hill - three-and-a-half if you count Monday nights. Plus there are several breaks, which Congress calls "work periods," penciled in the calendar throughout the year. This year, members of Congress returned to their districts for a Presidents Day break, a spring break, a Memorial Day break, an Independence Day break and a summer break. Congress is about to adjourn again until early November so members can campaign. Of course, that's good old-fashioned time off for senators not up for re-election this year.