Did You Get Your Money’s Worth From Congress Last Week?

Money's Worth | May 14, 2012

The House and Senate were both in session last week.

The House voted to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank. The legislation “would raise the bank’s lending limit to $120 billion immediately, $130 billion in 2013 and $140 billion by the end of the 2014 fiscal year.” See our fact sheet on the Bank, here. The House also passed the Fiscal Year 2013 Commerce-Justice-Science spending bill, which lays out $51.1 billion in funding for those programs over the next year. The White House has threatened to veto the legislation since it cuts funding more than was agreed to in last summer’s debt limit deal.

The Senate rejected cloture on a bill that would have prevented interest rates on student loans from doubling from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent. Republicans and Democrats disagree on how to pay for the measure, with Democrats favoring tax increases and Republicans offering a plan to repeal a program set up in the 2010 health care bill.

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 noted above, the House voted to approve four bills and resolutions that will have not any cost.

  • H.R. 4133, To express the sense of Congress regarding the United States-Israel strategic relationship, to direct the President to submit to Congress reports on United States actions to enhance this relationship and to assist in the defense of Israel. COST: $0
  • H. Con. Res. 118, Authorizing the use of the Capitol Grounds for the District of Columbia Special Olympics Law Enforcement Torch Run. COST: $0
  • H. Con. Res. 117, Authorizing the use of the Capitol Grounds for the National Peace Officers Memorial Service. COST: $0
  • H. Con. Res. 105, Authorizing the use of Emancipation Hall in the Capitol Visitor Center for an event to celebrate the birthday of King Kamehameha. COST: $0

In addition to the cloture vote mentioned above, the Senate confirmed Jacqueline H. Nguyen, of California, to be U.S. Circuit Judge for the Ninth Circuit.

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