Did You Get Your Money’s Worth From Congress Last Week?
The House and Senate were in session last week, and despite House passage of a bill “to strike the word lunatic from Federal law,” the budget insanity continued.
After Republicans released their plan to avoid the fiscal cliff ($800 in new revenues from closing tax loopholes and $2.2 trillion in mandatory and discretionary spending cuts) early in the week, negotiations came to a standstill.
Lawmakers now have just 21 days to hammer out a plan.
The Senate did manage to pass a bill that would authorize up to $631 billion in defense spending for fiscal year 2013. (The bill only authorizes this spending; it doesn’t actually appropriate it.) According to Agence France Presse, “The sweeping measure, passed after five days of debate and hundreds of amendments, would tighten sanctions on Iran, restrict the president’s authorization in handling terrorism suspects, and prohibit the military detention of US nationals.”
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
The House voted to pass four bills that have an unknown cost:
- S. 2367, To strike the word lunatic from Federal law. COST: $0
- H.R. 6602, To make revisions in title 36, United States Code, as necessary to keep the title current and make technical corrections and improvements. COST: Unknown
- S. Con. Res. 50, Expressing the sense of Congress regarding actions to preserve and advance the multi-stakeholder governance model under which the Internet has thrived. COST: $0
- H.R. 6582, American Energy Manufacturing Technical Corrections Act. COST: Unknown
In addition to the defense authorization bill, the Senate passed a bill granting permanent normal trade relations with Russia and confirmed Mark E. Welker, Paul William Grimm and Michael P. Shea to be district court judges.