Did you get your Money’s Worth from Congress last week?

Money's Worth | April 2, 2012

Did you get your Money’s Worth from Congress last week? 

The House voted on seven different budget resolutions last week. Only one, the outline offered by Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI), passed. (The chamber voted down alternatives from the Republican Study Committee and one based on President Obama’s budget.) Ryan’s resolution, which, though it passed, does not have the force of law, calls for $3.5 trillion in spending in fiscal year 2013. (The Senate maintains it will not pass a budget this year.)

The House also passed a three-month extension to federal highway spending programs. The bill is a stopgap measure while lawmakers continue to negotiate a longer-term, $109 billion dollar extension.

The Senate failed to move ahead on a plan to reform the U.S. Postal Service.

The House and Senate will now take two weeks off for April recess. The House and Senate will both reconvene at 2 p.m. on Monday, April 16.

For more on last week’s Capitol Hill activity, check below.

What you paid

Last week taxpayers spent roughly $100 million on Congress.

Salaries of Members of Congress and their allowances/week:

Speaker of the House: $223,500/52 = $4,299

House and Senate Majority and Minority Leaders: ($193,400/52) x 4 = $14,877

Other Representatives and Senators: ($174,000/52) x 530 = $1,773,462

Average weekly budget for all House offices: ($1,446,009/52) x 435 = $2,096,421

Average weekly budget for all Senate offices: ($3,409,093/52) x 100 = $6,555,958

Non-salary money allocated for Congress: $4.656 billion/52 = $89,538,462

What you got

In addition to the legislation above, the House voted to approve six bills and resolutions that would cost taxpayers more than $1.7 billion over five years:

  • H.R. 1339, To recognize the City of Salem, Mass. as the Birthplace of the U.S. National Guard. COST: $0
  • H.R. 3309, To provide for greater  transparency and efficiency in the procedures followed by the Federal Communications Commission.COST: $26 million over 5 years
  • H.R. 3298, Homes for Heroes Act. COST: $1.7 billion over 5 years (cost estimate from same bill in previous Congress)
  • H.R. 3606, To increase American job creation and economic growth by improving access to the public capital markets for emerging growth companies. COST: $50 million over 5 years
  • H.R. 2682, Business Risk Mitigation and Price Stabilization Act. COST: “Not significant
  • H.R. 2779, To exempt inter-affiliate swaps from certain regulatory requirements put in place by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. COST: “Not significant

The Senate began debate on eliminating tax subsidies to oil and gas companies and confirmed Susie Morgan and Miranda Du to be U.S. district court judges.

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