Did you get your Money’s Worth from Congress last week?
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After a two week recess, the House and Senate returned last week. The House passed an extension to highway funding programs. The bill, which would extend authorization for roads’ spending programs for another 90 days, is a stopgap measure until Congress can negotiate a path forward on afive-year, $260 billion extension. The House also passed legislation that provided small businesses an estimated $46 billion in tax cuts.
The Senate only held three roll call votes. It rejected cloture on the “Buffett Rule,” which would impose a minimum tax on high-income earners. Revenues generated from the proposal (only about $47 billion a year) were to go to deficit reduction. The Senate achieved cloture on a bill to reform the U.S. Postal Service. Debate on that bill will continue this week.
Check below for more on last week’s House and Senate action.
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 four bills and resolutions that would cost taxpayers at least $12 million over five years:
- H.R. 2543, Mark Twain Commemorative Coin Act. COST: Unknown
- H.R. 4089, Sportsmen’s Heritage Act of 2012. COST: $12 million over 5 years
- H.R. 4040, To provide for the award of a gold medal on behalf of Congress to Jack Nicklaus in recognition of his service to the Nation in promoting excellence and good sportsmanship in golf. COST: Unknown
- H.R. 3001, Raoul Wallenberg Centennial Celebration Act. COST: Unknown
In addition to the cloture votes mentioned above, the Senate confirmed Stephanie Dawn Thacker to be U.S. Circuit Judge for the Fourth Circuit.