ISSUE SUMMARY: The Speaker of the House receives an annual salary of $223,500 per year. The standard salary for a Member of Congress is $174,000 per year. Members of Congress also receive a pension of up to 80 percent of their salary depending on how long they’ve served. They become eligible for a pension after just five years in office. They can also earn outside income of up to 15 percent of their salary. And they receive $11,378 in subsidies from the taxpayers to help pay for health insurance. The total pay and benefit package for a rank-and-file Member of Congress is estimated to be worth at least $200,000 per year. This puts every Member of Congress in the top 3 percent of Americans for income.
ISSUE SUMMARY: Congress schedules about 124 days of legislating per year, compared to the average American worker who works 240 days per year. So Members of Congress are really in Washington working just half time — about 2.4 days per week.
ISSUE SUMMARY: Being a Member of Congress or a top Congressional staffer can be a ticket to becoming fabulously wealthy as a lobbyist. According to OpenSecrets.org, 427 former Members of Congress are now corporate lobbyists. In addition, almost 5,400 former Congressional staffers have left Capitol Hill to become federal lobbyists. One report found that Members of Congress get a 1,452% pay raise on average when they become lobbyists. Former Congressman Billy Tauzin, as just one example, was paid almost $5 MILLION per year by drug companies to lobby.
ISSUE SUMMARY: Four members of Joe Biden’s family became wealthy while Joe was Vice President – including his son Hunter, his brothers Frank and James, and his sister Valerie. Their suspect dealings are detailed in a book by investigative journalist Peter Schweizer titled Profiles in Corruption.
ISSUE SUMMARY: A century ago, Washington, DC was a relatively small and sleepy town. Today, the Washington, DC, area has an estimated population of 6,000,000 and is the fastest growing and richest metropolitan area in America. Of the top 10 richest counties in America, six are in the Washington, DC suburbs.
ISSUE SUMMARY: From 1789 to 1815, Members of Congress received a daily honoraria payment of $6 while in session. They were paid $8 per day while in session from 1818 to 1855. Congress was typically in session legislating a few months each year. America’s Founding Fathers envisioned that being a Member of Congress would be a part-time job.