Guest post submitted by Bankrupting America

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

If it seems like Congress just returned from a break before leaving town for another one, it’s because they did. After two short weeks in session, Congress adjourned again and will be out until after the Nov. 6 elections.

Before lawmakers left, the Senate passed a six-month continuing resolution and … well, that’s about it. No action on the fiscal cliff or other tax extenders. Take a look at all Congress has to do in their lame duck session, set for November or December: Reuters and The Washington Post have the story.

What You Paid

Last week (and every week) taxpayers spend 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 Return For Your $100 Million

The House voted to pass four bills that would have an unknown cost to taxpayers:

  • H.R. 3409, To limit the authority of the Secretary of the Interior to issue regulations before December 31, 2013, under the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977. COST: “Minimal Impact on the Federal Budget
  • H. J. Res 118, Providing for congressional disapproval of the rule submitted by the Office of Family Assistance of the Administration for Children and Families of the Department of HHS relating to waiver and expenditure authority under the Social Security Act with respect to the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. COST: $0
  • H.R. 5912, To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to prohibit the use of public funds for political party conventions, and to provide for the return of previously distributed funds for deficit reduction. SAVINGS: Unknown
  • H.R. 5044, To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to exclude from gross income any discharge of indebtedness income on education loans of deceased veterans. COST: Unknown

In addition to the continuing resolution, the Senate passed a bill to put limits on United Nations assistance to Libya, Egypt and Pakistan; resolution that expressed the sense of Congress saying Iran should not be allowed to obtain a nuclear weapon; and arrived at cloture on a bill to “protect and enhance opportunities for recreational hunting, fishing, and shooting …”

Courtesy of