Did You Get Your Money’s Worth From Congress Last Week?
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The House and the Senate were back in session last week after their Fourth of July recesses, but activity was rather light.
The House took up H.R. 6079, a bill that would repeal the 2010 health care reform law. The bill passed 244 to 185. It was the 33rd time the House has tried to repeal or defund the law.
The Senate failed to reach cloture on three small business tax bills. The first bill would have offered a 20 percent tax credit to any business with fewer than 500 employees; the second would have given small businesses a 10 percent tax credit for hiring; and the third would have given tax breaks to start-ups.
In other Senate news, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said the chamber may “skip” votes on individual appropriations bills altogether this year.
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. 4402, National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act. COST: $300,000 a year
- H.R. 5892, Hydropower Regulatory Efficiency Act of 2012. COST: “No significant impact on the federal budget”
- H.R. 4367, To amend the Electronic Fund Transfer Act to limit the fee disclosure requirement for an automatic teller machine to the screen of that machine. COST: $0
- H.R., 4155, To direct the head of each Federal department and agency to treat relevant military training as sufficient to satisfy training or certification requirements for Federal licenses. COST: “No significant impact on the federal budget”
In addition to the legislation noted above, the Senate confirmed John Thomas Fowlkes, Jr. to be a U.S. District Judge for the Western District of Tennessee.