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

Money's Worth | August 6, 2012

The House and Senate were both in session last week.

The House passed a bill that would extend all of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts for one year. (The week before the Senate passed a bill that would extend only a portion of the tax cuts.) The Senate, meanwhile, failed to achieve cloture on a cybersecurity bill.

On Friday, the two chambers adjourned for their August recess. They will return in early September with several items left on their agenda: a six-month continuing resolution, differences on the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, nearly 100 other expiring tax provisions, impending spending cuts mandated by last year’s debt ceiling deal, a farm bill, U.S. Postal Service reform and a trade bill with Russia.

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 would affect spending and revenues:

  • H.R. 6233, Agricultural Disaster Assistance Act of 2012. SAVINGS: $256 million over 10 years compared to current baseline
  • H.R. 6169, To provide for expedited consideration of a bill providing for comprehensive tax reform. COST: $0
  • H.R. 4365, To amend title 5, United States Code, to make clear that accounts in the Thrift Savings Fund are subject to certain Federal tax levies. SAVINGS: Recovery of $24 million in unpaid taxes
  • H.R. 828, Federal Employee Tax Accountability Act of 2012. COST: $1 million in 2012
  • S. 679, To reduce the number of executive positions subject to Senate confirmation. COST: $0

In addition to vote discussed above, the Senate confirmed Gershwin A. Drain to be U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of Michigan.


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