Did You Get Your Money’s Worth?

Money's Worth | July 30, 2012

The House and the Senate were in session last week.

The Senate passed legislation that would extend the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts for American families that earn $250,000 and less a year. (Taxes would increase for all other income brackets.) Republicans had offered a plan to extend the tax cuts for all income earners, but that measure failed on a 45-54 vote.

The House passed legislation that says no federal agency can “take any significant regulatory action” until the U.S. unemployment rate falls below 6 percent. According to Bloomberg/Businessweek the legislation would apply to “any regulation with a projected economic cost of at least $50 million, as well as to regulations determined by the Office of Management and Budget’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs to have a materially negative effect on jobs, public health and safety, local and state governments, or the environment.”

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 noted above, the House voted to pass five bills that will save taxpayers approximately $560 million over 10 years:

  • H.R. 459, To require a full audit of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Federal reserve banks by the Comptroller General of the United States before the end of 2012. COST: $5 million over 2 years
  • H.R. 6082, Congressional Replacement of President Obamas Energy-Restricting and Job-Limiting Offshore Drilling Plan.SAVINGS: $565 million over 10 years
  • H.R. 3477, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 133 Hare Road in Crosby, Texas, as the Army First Sergeant David McNerney Post Office Building. COST: $0
  • H.R. 2039, To allow a State or local government to construct levees on certain properties otherwise designated as open space lands.COST: Unknown
  • H.R. 2362, Indian Tribal Trade and Investment Demonstration Project Act of 2011. COST: $0

During the debate on the FY2013 defense spending bill, on roll call votes the House rejected 14 amendments to cut spending and approved 3 amendments to cut spending.

In addition to vote discussed above, the Senate began debate on a cybersecurity bill and confirmed Michael A. Shipp to be U.S. District Judge for the District of New Jersey.

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