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

Money's Worth | July 2, 2012

Both the House and Senate were in session last week. The chambers hurried to complete a bill that would extend authorization for highway spending programs and legislation that would prevent student loan interest rate increases. (Lawmakers were under severe time constraints as the temporary authorization for highway programs expired Saturday and student loan interest rates were set to rise July 1.) In the end, House and Senate lawmakers combined the two pieces of legislation, along with a reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program, and passed them before leaving for the 4th of July recess. The legislation is expected to cost $120 billion.

The chambers are not in session this week.

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 costs taxpayers about $51.6 billion over five years:

  • H.R. 5972, FY 2012 Departments of Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development, and related agencies appropriations bill.COST: $51.6 billion in 2013
  • H. Res. 706, Authorizing the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to initiate or intervene in judicial proceedings to enforce certain subpoenas. COST: None
  • H. Res. 711, Recommending that the House of Representatives find Eric H. Holder Jr., Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice, in contempt of Congress. COST: None
  • H.R. 4005, Gauging American Port Security (GAPS) Act. COST: $1 million in 2013
  • H.R. 4251, Securing Maritime Activites through Risk-based Targeting (SMART) for Port Security Act. COST: $9 million over 5 years

In addition to the legislation noted above, the Senate confirmed Robin S. Rosenbaum to be a U.S. District Judge.

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