Did you get your Money’s Worth from Congress so far this year?
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Members of the House and Senate were back home last week for their annual August recess. The two chambers will be in recess until early September, so we thought this break would be a good time to look back at the budget-cutting actions Congress has taken so far this year and ask have you gotten your “Money’s Worth?”
What you paid
Taxpayers spend roughly $107.8 million per week 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 budget for Members of Congress: ($1,600,000/52) x 535 = $16,461,538
Non-salary money allocated for Congress: $4.656 billion/52 = $89,538,462
What you got
In addition to the debt ceiling deal passed before the August recess, the fiscal year 2011 continuing resolution, and a fiscal year 2012 budget resolution that only the House has passed, which does not have the force of law but calls for $5.8 trillion in budget cuts, Congress has passed several belt-tightening measures.
The House voted to pass 20 bills or resolutions that would save taxpayers more than more than $55.6 billion over the next 10 years.
H.R. 1383, Restoring GI Bill Fairness Act of 2011. SAVINGS: $5 million over 10 years
H.R. 2417, Better Use of Light Bulbs Act. SAVINGS: $30 million over 5 years
H.R. 1249, To amend title 35, U.S. Code, to provide for patent reform. SAVINGS: $725 million over 10 years
H.R. 1216, To amend the Public Health Service Act to convert funding for graduate medical education in qualified teaching health centers from direct appropriations to an authorization of appropriations. SAVINGS: $36 million over 10 years
H.R. 1231, Reversing President Obamas Offshore Moratorium Act. SAVINGS: $775 million over 10 years
H.R. 1230, Restarting American Offshore Leasing Now Act. SAVINGS: $40 million over 10 years
H.R. 3, No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act. SAVINGS: “Negligible.”
H.R. 1213, To repeal mandatory funding provided to States in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to establish American Health Benefit Exchanges. SAVINGS: $12.6 billion over 10 years
H.R. 1217, To repeal the Prevention and Public Health Fund. SAVINGS: $16 billion over 10 years
H.R. 910, Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011. SAVINGS: $250 million over 5 years
H.R. 1246, To reduce the amounts otherwise authorized to be appropriated to the Department of Defense for printing and reproduction. SAVINGS: $180 million over 5 years
H.R. 1076, To prohibit federal funding of National Public Radio and the use of Federal funds to acquire radio content. SAVINGS: $5 million a year
H.R. 836, To rescind the unobligated funding for the Emergency Mortgage Relief Program and to terminate the program. SAVINGS: $840 million over the next two years
H.R. 830, FHA Refinance Program Termination Act. SAVINGS: $175 million over the next two years
H.R. 4, Small Business Paperwork Mandate Elimination Act (repeal of 1099 provision included in last year’s health care bill). SAVINGS: $21.9 billion over 10 years
H.R. 359, A bill reducing federal spending and the deficit by terminating taxpayer financing of presidential election campaigns and party conventions. SAVINGS: $617 million over 10 years
H. Res. 38, A resolution calling on Congress to reduce spending through a transition to non-security spending at fiscal year 2008 levels. SAVINGS: $0 – resolution does not have the force of law
H.R. 292, Stop the OverPrinting (STOP) Act. SAVINGS: $35 million in savings over 10 years
H. Res. 22, A resolution reducing the amount authorized for salaries and expenses of Member, committee, and leadership offices in 2011 and 2012. SAVINGS: $35 million
Other than the debt ceiling deal and the fiscal year 2011 CR, the Senate has passed only two items that would cut spending: an amendment that would end federal unemployment payments to jobless millionaires and billionaires, saving taxpayers approximately $20 million a year, and a measure to end subsidies for ethanol that would save taxpayers $6 billion a year.