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GOVERNMENT SERIES

Congressional
Pay and
Perks
Salaries, Pensions and Retirement,
Franking, Travel, and Other Benefits
for U.S. Senators and Representatives
GOVERNMENT SERIES

Congressional
Pay and
Perks
Salaries, Pensions and Retirement,
Franking, Travel, and Other Benefits
for U.S. Senators and Representatives
Compiled by TheCapitol.Net
Authors: Ida A. Brudnick, R. Eric Petersen, Patrick J. Purcell,
Mildred Amer, Matthew Eric Glassman, Jennifer E. Manning,
Michael L. Koempel and Judy Schneider
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Summary Table of Contents
Introduction .................................................................................. xiii

Chapter 1:
“Salaries of Members of Congress: Congressional Votes, 1990–2010,”
by Ida A. Brudnick, CRS Report for Congress 97-615, January 12, 2010 . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

Chapter 2:
“Salaries of Members of Congress: Recent Actions and Historical Tables,”
by Ida A. Brudnick, CRS Report for Congress 97-1011H, January 12, 2010 . . . . . . . 29

Chapter 3:
“Congressional Salaries and Allowances,” by Ida A. Brudnick,
CRS Report for Congress RL30064H, July 14, 2009 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41

Chapter 4:
“Legislative Branch Staffing, 1954–2007,” by R. Eric Petersen,
CRS Report for Congress R40056, October 15, 2008 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57

Chapter 5:
“Retirement Benefits for Members of Congress,” by Patrick Purcell,
CRS Report for Congress RL30631H, October 28, 2008 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73

Chapter 6:
“Brief Facts About Congressional Pensions,” by Patrick J. Purcell,
CRS Report for Congress 94-740, January 13, 2004 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89

Chapter 7:
“Selected Privileges and Courtesies Extended to Departing
and Former Members of the House of Representatives,”
by Mildred Amer, CRS Report for Congress 98-962H, August 19, 2008 ............ 91

Chapter 8:
“Former Speakers of the House: Office Allowances, Franking
Privileges, and Staff Assistance,” by Matthew Eric Glassman,
CRS Report for Congress RS20099H, August 28, 2007 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 101

Chapter 9:
“Franking Privilege: An Analysis of Member Mass Mailings
in the House, 1997–2007,” by Matthew Eric Glassman,
CRS Report for Congress RL34458, April 16, 2008 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 109

Chapter 10:
“Congressional Official Mail Costs,” by Matthew Eric Glassman,
CRS Report for Congress RL34188H, March 26, 2008 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 119

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Chapter 11:
“Franking Privilege: Historical Development and
Options for Change,” by Matthew Eric Glassman,
CRS Report for Congress RL34274, September 8, 2008 ............................ 131

Chapter 12:
“Members of Congress Who Die in Office: Historic and
Current Practices,” by R. Eric Petersen and Jennifer E. Manning,
CRS Report for Congress RL34347H, August 26, 2009 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 157

Chapter 13:
Congressional Deskbook: Chapter 1,
“Being a Member of Congress,”
by Michael L. Koempel and Judy Schneider . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 181

Chapter 14:
Congressional Deskbook: Chapter 5,
“Supporting Congress: Allowances and Staff,”
by Michael L. Koempel and Judy Schneider . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 201

Chapter 15:
Congressional Deskbook: Chapter 6,
“Supporting Congress: The Capitol Complex,”
by Michael L. Koempel and Judy Schneider . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 251

Chapter 16:
Resources from TheCapitol.Net . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 281
Web Pages
Capitol Learning Audio CoursesTM
Live Training

Chapter 17:
Other Resources ........................................................................... 282
Resources
Internet Resources
Books

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Table of Contents
Introduction .................................................................................. xiii

Chapter 1:
“Salaries of Members of Congress: Congressional Votes, 1990–2010,”
by Ida A. Brudnick, CRS Report for Congress 97-615, January 12, 2010 . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
Introduction
Source of Member Pay Appropriations
Application of the 27th Amendment to the Annual Adjust
Most Recent Developments
January 2011 Member Pay Projected Adjustment
January 2010 Member Pay Adjustment Denied
Attempts to Eliminate Automatic Annual Adjustment Procedure in the 111th Congress
Prior Actions and Votes by Year
2009
2008
2007
2006
2005
2004
2003
2002
2001
2000
1999
1998
1997
1996
1995
1994
1993
1992
1991
1990

Chapter 2:
“Salaries of Members of Congress: Recent Actions and Historical Tables,”
by Ida A. Brudnick, CRS Report for Congress 97-1011H, January 12, 2010 . . . . . . . 29
Background
January 2010 Member Pay Pay Projected Adjustment
January 2010 Member Pay Adjustment Denied
January 2009 Member Pay Adjustment of 2.8%

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Figure 1. Salary for Members of Congress: Current and Constant Dollars, 1992–2009
Table 1. Salary Adjustments for Members of Congress Since 1789
Table 2. Member Pay Projected vs. Actual Adjustments Since 1992
Table 3. Legislative Vehicles Used for Previous Pay Prohibitions and Enacted Dates

Chapter 3:
“Congressional Salaries and Allowances,” by Ida A. Brudnick,
CRS Report for Congress RL30064H, July 14, 2009 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
Compensation of Members of Congress and Related Benefits
Compensation
Outside Earned Income and Honoraria Limits
Tax Deductions
Health and Life Insurance Provisions
Health Insurance
Life Insurance
Retirement Provisions
Personnel, Office Expenses, and Mail Allowances for U.S. Representatives
House Allowance System
Personnel Allowance Component of the MRA
Official Office Expenses Allowance Component of the MRA
Official Mail Allowance (Franking Privilege) Component of the MRA
Other Allowances
Government Publications
Travel Allowance for Organizational Caucuses or Conferences
Personnel, Office Expenses, and Mail Allowances for U.S. Senators
Senators’ Official Personnel and Office Expense Account
Official Office Expense Allowance
Personnel Allowances: Administrative and
Clerical Assistance and Legislative Assistance
Official Mail Allowance
Other Allowances
Senate Interns
Office Space in States
Mobile Office Space for Senators
Furniture and Furnishings in Washington, DC
Furniture and Furnishings in State Offices
Office Equipment in Washington, DC, and State Offices
Government Publications
Compensation of Other Congressional Officers and Officials
House of Representatives
Senate
Compensation of Standing Committee Employees
House of Representatives
Senate
Table 1. Mileage Multiplier for MRA

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Chapter 4:
“Legislative Branch Staffing, 1954–2007,” by R. Eric Petersen,
CRS Report for Congress R40056, October 15, 2008 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57
Counting Positions: Full Time Equivalent and Payroll Positions
FTE Positions
Payroll Positions
Legislative Branch Staffing Trends, 1954–2007
Potential Staffing Issues for Congress
Figure 1. Legislative Branch Staffing, 1954–2007
Figure 2. Distribution of Legislative Branch Staff, 1955–2005
Figure 3. House and Senate Staffing, 1975–2007
Figure 4. Distribution of Legislative Branch Staff, 1975–2005
Figure 5. Selected Legislative Agency Staffing, 1954–2007
Table 1. Change in Legislative Branch Staffing, 1955–2005
Table 2. Legislative Branch Employment, 2001–2007
Table 3. Legislative Branch Employment, 1991–2000
Table 4. Legislative Branch Employment, 1981–1990
Table 5. Legislative Branch Employment, 1971–1980
Table 6. Legislative Branch Employment, 1961–1970
Table 7. Legislative Branch Employment, 1954–1960

Chapter 5:
“Retirement Benefits for Members of Congress,” by Patrick Purcell,
CRS Report for Congress RL30631H, October 28, 2008 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73
Background on Congressional Pensions
Retirement Plans Available to Members of Congress
Members First Elected Before 1984
Members First Elected Since 1984
Age and Length-of-Service Requirements
Retirement Under CSRS
Retirement Under FERS
Coordination of FERS Benefits with Social Security
Social Security Retirement Benefits
Social Security Earnings Limit
The Thrift Savings Plan: An Integral Component of FERS
Required Contributions To Retirement Programs
Total Payroll Deductions
Pension Plan Benefit Formulas
Pension Benefits Under CSRS
Pension Benefits Under FERS
Social Security Benefits
Pensions for Members with Service Under Both CSRS and FERS
Retirement Benefits under the CSRS Offset Plan

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Replacement Rates
Cost-of-Living Adjustments
The Thrift Savings Plan
Forfeiture of Annuity
Table 1. Replacement Rates for Members Retiring with an Immediate Annuity

Chapter 6:
“Brief Facts About Congressional Pensions,” by Patrick J. Purcell,
CRS Report for Congress 94-740, January 13, 2004 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89
Summary

Chapter 7:
“Selected Privileges and Courtesies Extended to Departing
and Former Members of the House of Representatives,”
by Mildred Amer, CRS Report for Congress 98-962H, August 19, 2008 ............ 91
Privileges and Courtesies
(1) Floor Privileges
(2) Purchase of Washington, DC, Office Furnishings
(3) Purchase of District Office Furnishings and Equipment
(4) Purchase of Personal Digital Assistants and Cellular Phones
(5) Shipment of Office Active Files
(6) Storage/Shipment of Inactive Office Files
(7) Archival Disposition of Office Files
(8) Franking Privilege
(9) Other Mailing Service
(10) Use of the Congressional Research Service (CRS)
(11) Use of the Library of Congress
(12) Priority in Committee Testimony
(13) Use of the House Exercise Facilities
(14) Parking in the House Side of the Capitol
(15) Other Traditional Benefits and Courtesies Extended
to Former Members of the House

Chapter 8:
“Former Speakers of the House: Office Allowances, Franking
Privileges, and Staff Assistance,” by Matthew Eric Glassman,
CRS Report for Congress RS20099H, August 28, 2007 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 101
Introduction
Allowances Made Available in 1959
Allowances Made Available in 1970
Allowances Made Available in 1974
Changes in Allowances, 1974–Present
Allowances Currently Available to Former Speakers
Restrictions on Use of Allowances by Former Speakers

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Chapter 9:
“Franking Privilege: An Analysis of Member Mass Mailings
in the House, 1997–2007,” by Matthew Eric Glassman,
CRS Report for Congress RL34458, April 16, 2008 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 109
Introduction
Methodology
Data Collection
Summary Statistics
Aggregate House Member Mass Mailings, 1997–2007
Quarterly Variation in Member Mass Mail Rates
Election vs. Non-Election Year
Discussion
Figure 1. Congressional Mail Postage Costs, CY2000–CY2007
Figure 2. Pieces of Mass Mail Sent, by Quarter, 1997 to 2007
Table 1. Total Member Mass Mail Pieces Sent and Total Costs, House,
CY1997–CY2007
Table 2. Total Pieces of Member Mass Mail Sent, House, by Fiscal Year
and Calendar Year, 1998 to 2007

Chapter 10:
“Congressional Official Mail Costs,” by Matthew Eric Glassman,
CRS Report for Congress RL34188H, March 26, 2008 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 119
Introduction
Official Mail Costs, FY2005 to FY2007
Official Mail Costs
Mass Mailing Costs
Election Year vs. Non-election Year
Official Mail Costs, FY1954–FY2007
Increased Costs, FY1954–FY1988
Costs Reduced, FY1988–FY2007
Monthly Variation, FY2000 to FY2007
Figure 1. Monthly Official Mail Costs, October 2004 to December 2007
Figure 2. Franked Mail Costs (FY1954–FY1977) and Official Congressional
Mail Costs (FY1978–FY2007)
Figure 3. Official Mail Costs, by Chamber, FY1978–FY2007
Figure 4. Monthly Official Mail Costs, House, FY2000–FY2007
Figure 5. Monthly Official Mail Costs, Senate, FY2000–FY2007
Figure 6. Monthly Official Mail Costs, Senate (re-scaled), FY2000 to FY2007
Table 1. Official Mail Costs, by Fiscal Year and Calendar Year, 2005 to 2007
Table 2. Official Mail Costs, by Chamber, FY1978 to FY2007

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Chapter 11:
“Franking Privilege: Historical Development and
Options for Change,” by Matthew Eric Glassman,
CRS Report for Congress RL34274, September 8, 2008 ............................ 131
Introduction
History of the Congressional Franking Privilege
Origins of the Franking Privilege
Early Franking Law, 1789–1873
Significant Restrictions, 1873–1895
Franking Restored, 1895–1973
Franking Reform, 1973–1977
Contemporary Reforms, 1986–Present
Mass Communications
Contemporary Activities of the Franking Commission
Other Recipients of the Franking Privilege
Vice President
Congressional Officers
Former Members of Congress
Members-elect
Relatives of Members of Congress
Former Presidents and Widows of Presidents
Executive Branch Officials
Postmasters
Soldiers
Criticism of the Franking Privilege
Cost of Franking
Illegal Abuse of Franking Privileges
Incumbency Advantage
Technological Advance
Defense of the Franking Privilege
Linking Citizens and Representatives
Facilitating the Spread of Political News
Institutional Defense of Congress
Dimensions of the Franking Privilege
Who Has the Franking Privilege?
When Can the Frank Be Used?
What Materials Can Members Send Under the Frank?
How Much Franked Mail Can Members Send?
Where Can Such Materials Be Sent?
Options for Future Franking Change
Abolish the Franking Privilege
Prohibit Mass Mailings

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Prohibit Unsolicited Mailings
Extend the Pre-election Ban on Mass Mailings
Give Franking Privileges to Electoral Challengers
Reduce the Allowance Given to Members for Franked Mail
Increase Cost Disclosure Requirements
Concluding Observations

Chapter 12:
“Members of Congress Who Die in Office: Historic and
Current Practices,” by R. Eric Petersen and Jennifer E. Manning,
CRS Report for Congress RL34347H, August 26, 2009 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 157
Background and Context
Floor Announcement or Acknowledgment of a Member’s Death
House Practice
Representatives-Elect
Senate Practice
Resolutions of Condolence
House Practice
Senate Practice
Funeral and Disposition of Remains
House Practice
Senate Practice
Deceased Member’s Office, Staff, and Survivor Benefits
House Practice
Senate Practice
Publication of Memorials
House Practice
Senate Practice
Table 1. Members of the House Who Died in Office, and Resolutions
of Condolence Adopted in the House and Senate, 1973–2008
Table 2. Senators Who Died in Office, and Resolutions of Condolence
Adopted in the Senate and House, 1978–2009

Chapter 13:
Congressional Deskbook: Chapter 1,
“Being a Member of Congress,”
by Michael L. Koempel and Judy Schneider . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 181

Chapter 14:
Congressional Deskbook: Chapter 5,
“Supporting Congress: Allowances and Staff,”
by Michael L. Koempel and Judy Schneider . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 201

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Chapter 15:
Congressional Deskbook: Chapter 6,
“Supporting Congress: The Capitol Complex,”
by Michael L. Koempel and Judy Schneider . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 251

Chapter 16:
Resources from TheCapitol.Net . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 281
Web Pages
Capitol Learning Audio CoursesTM
Live Training

Chapter 17:
Other Resources ........................................................................... 282
Resources
Internet Resources
Books

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Introduction
Congressional Pay and Perks
Salaries, Pension and Retirement, Franking, Travel, and
Other Benefits for U.S. Senators and Representatives

Congress is required by Article I, Section 6, of the Constitution to determine its own pay. Prior to 1969,
Congress did so by enacting stand-alone legislation. From 1789 through 1968, Congress raised its pay
22 times using this procedure. Members were initially paid per diem. The first annual salaries, in 1815,
were $1,500. Per diem pay was reinstituted in 1817. Congress returned to annual salaries, at a rate of
$3,000, in 1855. By 1968, pay had risen to $30,000. Stand-alone legislation may still be used to raise
Member pay, as it was most recently in 1982, 1983, 1989, and 1991; but two other methods—including
an automatic annual adjustment procedure and a commission process—are now also available.

The Ethics Reform Act of 1989 established the current formula for automatic annual adjustments,
which is based on changes in private sector wages and salaries as measured by the Employment Cost
Index. The adjustment goes into effect automatically unless denied statutorily by Congress, although
the percentage may not exceed the percentage base pay increase for General Schedule employees.

Allowances are available to Representatives and Senators to support them in their official and
representational duties as Members. These allowances cover official office expenses, staff, mail,
and other goods and services.

Despite significant reductions in congressional mail postage costs over the past 20 years, critics
continue to raise concerns that the franking privilege is both financially wasteful and gives unfair
advantages to incumbents in congressional elections. In particular, mass mailings have come under
increased scrutiny as critics argue that the vast majority of franked mail is unsolicited and, in effect,
publicly funded campaign literature.

Members of Congress first elected in 1984 or later are covered automatically under the Federal
Employees’ Retirement System (FERS), unless they decline this coverage. Those who already were in
Congress when Social Security coverage went into effect could either remain in CSRS or change their
coverage to FERS. Members are now covered under one of four different retirement arrangements:
• CSRS and Social Security;
• The “CSRS Offset” plan, which includes both CSRS and Social Security, but with CSRS
contributions and benefits reduced by Social Security contributions and benefits;
• FERS and Social Security; or
• Social Security alone.

Congressional pensions, like those of other federal employees, are financed through a combination of
employee and employer contributions. All Members pay Social Security payroll taxes equal to 6.2% of
the Social Security taxable wage base ($102,000 in 2008 and $106,800 in 2009). Members enrolled in
FERS also pay 1.3% of full salary to the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund. In 2008, Members
covered by CSRS Offset pay 1.8% of the first $102,000 of salary, and 8.0% of salary above this amount,
into the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund.

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Under both CSRS and FERS, Members of Congress are eligible for a pension at age 62 if they
have completed at least five years of service. Members are eligible for a pension at age 50 if they
have completed 20 years of service, or at any age after completing 25 years of service. The amount
of the pension depends on years of service and the average of the highest three years of salary. By law,
the starting amount of a Member’s retirement annuity may not exceed 80% of his or her final salary.

After Members of the House leave office, they are afforded certain courtesies and privileges. Some are
derived from House Rules, but many are courtesies that have been extended as a matter of custom.
Former Representatives who become lobbyists have limited privileges.

Links to much more information about Congressional pay and perquisites is available on our web page
at: <www.CongressPay.com>

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Chapter 1: Salaries of Members of Congress: Congressional Votes, 1990–2010

Salaries of Members of Congress:


Congressional Votes, 1990-2010

Ida A. Brudnick
Analyst on the Congress

January 12, 2010

Congressional Research Service


7-5700
www.crs.gov
97-615
CRS Report for Congress
Prepared for Members and Committees of Congress

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Goverment Series: Congressional Pay and Perks

Salaries of Members of Congress: Congressional Votes, 1990-2010

Summary
The U.S. Constitution, in Article I, Section 6, authorizes compensation for Members of Congress
“ascertained by law, and paid out of the Treasury of the United States.” Throughout American
history, Congress has relied on three different methods in adjusting salaries for Members. Stand-
alone legislation, the most frequently used method, was last used to provide increases in 1990 and
1991. It was the only method used by Congress for many years.

The second method, under which annual adjustments took effect automatically unless
disapproved by Congress, was established in 1975. From 1975-1989, these annual adjustments
were based on the rate of annual comparability increases given to the General Schedule federal
employees. This method was changed by the 1989 Ethics Act to require that the annual
adjustment be determined by a formula based on certain elements of the Employment Cost Index.
Under this revised process, annual adjustments were accepted 13 times (scheduled for January
1991, 1992, 1993, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, and 2009) and denied
seven times (scheduled for January 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2007, and 2010).

Under a provision included in the FY2009 Omnibus Appropriations Act, Members did not receive
a pay adjustment in 2010. Members were originally scheduled to receive a pay adjustment in
January 2010 of 2.1%. The Senate has also considered and passed legislation that would eliminate
the automatic pay adjustments for Members. Similar legislation has been introduced in the House.

In January 2009, Members received a 2.8% pay adjustment under the formula established by the
Ethics Reform Act, increasing their salary to $174,000. Members received a 2.5% adjustment in
pay in January 2008, resulting in a salary of $169,300. According to the formula, Members
originally were scheduled to receive a 2.7% annual adjustment, increasing their salary to
$169,700. This figure was automatically revised downward to 2.5% to match the increase in base
pay given employees under the General Schedule. By law, Members may not receive an increase
greater than the increase in the base pay of GS employees.

Members previously received a pay adjustment in January 2006, when they received a 1.9%
annual adjustment based on the formula under the annual adjustment procedure, increasing their
salary to $165,200 per annum. According to the formula, Members originally were scheduled to
receive a 2.0% annual adjustment in January 2007, increasing their salary to $168,500. This
figure was automatically revised downward to 1.7% to match GS base pay. Members voted to
delay and then prohibit a pay adjustment for 2007. Pay in 2007 remained $165,200.

Stand-alone legislation has been introduced to prevent the scheduled 2011 pay adjustment

A third method for adjusting Member pay is congressional action pursuant to recommendations
from the President, based on the recommendations of the Citizens’ Commission on Public Service
and Compensation established in the 1989 Ethics Reform Act. This commission was preceded by
the Commission on Executive, Legislative, and Judicial Salaries. Although the Citizens’
Commission should have convened in 1993, it did not and has not met since then. There is no
current plan to use the procedure.

Congressional Research Service

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Chapter 1: Salaries of Members of Congress: Congressional Votes, 1990–2010

Salaries of Members of Congress: Congressional Votes, 1990-2010

Contents
Introduction ................................................................................................................................1
Source of Member Pay Appropriations ..................................................................................1
Application of the 27th Amendment to the Annual Adjustments .............................................1
Most Recent Developments.........................................................................................................2
January 2011 Member Pay Projected Adjustment ..................................................................2
January 2010 Member Pay Adjustment Denied......................................................................2
Attempts to Eliminate Automatic Annual Adjustment Procedure in the 111th Congress...........3
Prior Actions and Votes by Year ..................................................................................................3
2009 .....................................................................................................................................4
2008 .....................................................................................................................................4
2007 .....................................................................................................................................6
2006 .....................................................................................................................................8
2005 .....................................................................................................................................9
2004 ................................................................................................................................... 10
2003 ................................................................................................................................... 11
2002 ................................................................................................................................... 13
2001 ................................................................................................................................... 14
2000 ................................................................................................................................... 15
1999 ................................................................................................................................... 16
1998 ................................................................................................................................... 18
1997 ................................................................................................................................... 19
1996 ................................................................................................................................... 20
1995 ................................................................................................................................... 21
1994 ................................................................................................................................... 22
1993 ................................................................................................................................... 23
1992 ................................................................................................................................... 23
1991 ................................................................................................................................... 23
1990 ................................................................................................................................... 24

Contacts
Author Contact Information ...................................................................................................... 25
Acknowledgments .................................................................................................................... 25

Congressional Research Service

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Goverment Series: Congressional Pay and Perks

Salaries of Members of Congress: Congressional Votes, 1990-2010

Introduction
The automatic annual adjustment for Members of Congress is determined by a formula using a
component of the Employment Cost Index, which measures rate of change in private sector pay.1
The adjustment automatically takes effect unless (1) Congress statutorily prohibits the
adjustment; (2) Congress statutorily revises the adjustment; or (3) the annual base pay adjustment
of General Schedule (GS) federal employees is established at a rate less than the scheduled
increase for Members, in which case Members are paid the lower rate.2 Members may not receive
an annual pay adjustment greater than 5%.

This adjustment formula was established by the Ethics Reform Act of 1989.3 Votes on the annual
adjustments since 1990 are contained in this report.

Source of Member Pay Appropriations


Although discussion of the member pay adjustment frequently occurs during consideration of the
annual appropriations bill funding the U.S. Treasury—currently the Financial Services and
General Government appropriations bill—this bill does not contains funds for the annual pay
adjustment for Members. This bill only contains funds for the salaries of those employees on the
payrolls of the agencies funded in the bill. Member salaries are funded in a permanent
appropriations account of the legislative branch in the Federal Budget.4

Use of this appropriations bill as a vehicle to prohibit the annual pay adjustments for Members
developed by custom. A prohibition on Member pay could be offered to any bill, or be introduced
as a separate bill.

Application of the 27th Amendment to the Annual Adjustments


The 27th Amendment to the Constitution, which was proposed on September 25, 1789 and ratified
May 7, 1992, states: “No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and
Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened.”5
Under the process established by the Ethics Reform Act of 1989, Member pay is automatically
adjusted pursuant to a formula. Following ratification of the Amendment, this procedure was
challenged in federal court. The reviewing court held that the 27th Amendment does not apply to
the automatic annual adjustments, 6 since Congress is considered to already have voted on future
adjustments when the automatic mechanism was established. Therefore, according to the court,

1
This report focuses on each of the actions taken by Congress since the implementation of the Ethics Reform Act of
1989. CRS Report 97-1011, Salaries of Members of Congress: Payable Rates Since 1789 and Recent Adjustments, by
Ida A. Brudnick, contains specific dollar amounts and statutory authority for each pay adjustment since 1789. Both
reports examine the overall adjustment process.
2
P.L. 103-356, 108 Stat. 3410, October 13, 1994.
3
§704(a)(2)(B) of P.L. 101-194, 103 Stat. 1769, November 30, 1989.
4
P.L. 97-51; 95 Stat. 966; September 11, 1981.
5
U.S. Constitution, amend. 27.
6
See Boehner v. Anderson, 809 F.Supp. 138 (D.D.C. 1992) and 30 F.3d 156 (D.C.Cir. 1994).

Congressional Research Service 1

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Chapter 4: Legislative Branch Staffing, 1954–2007

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Chapter 8: Former Speakers of the House: Office Allowances, Franking Privileges, and Staff Assistance

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Chapter 9: Franking Privilege: An Analysis of Member Mass Mailings in the House, 1997–2007

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Chapter 9: Franking Privilege: An Analysis of Member Mass Mailings in the House, 1997–2007

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Chapter 9: Franking Privilege: An Analysis of Member Mass Mailings in the House, 1997–2007

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Chapter 9: Franking Privilege: An Analysis of Member Mass Mailings in the House, 1997–2007

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Chapter 10: Congressional Official Mail Costs

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Chapter 13: Congressional Deskbook:
B e i n g a Being
M e m baeMember
r o f C o nofg Congress
r e s s § 1.50

§ 1.55

Floor Discussion of Schedule Changes 1


The negotiation of schedules is a time-consuming but important activity on Capitol Hill.
Everyone desires predictability, but it is difficult for congressional leaders to deliver it.

The excerpt below is representative of congressional concerns over unpredictability in


scheduling. The excerpt was taken from a House floor colloquy between House Majority
Leader Dick Armey, R-TX, and House Appropriations Committee Ranking Member David
Obey, D-WI, on Thursday, June 15, 2000. The House was considering amendments to the
fiscal year 2001 Interior appropriations bill. The Republican leadership expressed its hope
on Wednesday, June 14, to complete all floor votes by 6:00 p.m. Thursday. As Thursday
afternoon wore on, representatives became anxious about making evening airline flights
to their home districts. Finally, Obey raised the scheduling question with Armey in formal
debate, and ultimately offered a preferential motion for the Committee of the Whole to rise.
(See § 8.120, Committee of the Whole: Amendment Process.)

The motion was defeated on a recorded vote, 183 to 218. The Obey-Armey colloquy began
about 5:20 p.m. The colloquy and vote on the motion consumed about thirty minutes. The
House worked late and finally adjourned for the week on Friday morning, June 16 at 1:25 a.m.

Mr. Obey: . . . I would simply like to ask if the leadership intends to keep the commitment
which was announced to the House (to take no votes after 6:00 p.m. today) or whether the
rumors are true that we hear that they now intend to be in until 9:00.

Mr. Armey: . . . We worked out an agreement last night that we thought would give us good
progress. We had high hopes of continuing this work and completing it by 6:00 today. But
as we can see, we are approaching that hour; and we are not near completion.

Mr. Obey: . . . Let me simply say that the problem, as has been brought to my attention by
a number of members, is that the schedule published by the leadership indicates legislative
business, no votes after 6:00 p.m. . . . But I regret that the leadership has seen fit to upset
the ability of each individual member to get back to their district. . . .

Mr. Armey: . . . [O]ur agreement that we made last night was in full understanding of the
need and the commitment to complete this, where the floor manager said, and I think in
good faith and with all good intention, that they would do everything they could to finish by
6:00. Unfortunately, given their best efforts, they have not been able to achieve that. . . .

Mr. Obey: . . . We were told that the intention of the leadership was that we were leaving at 6,
that the committee should do its best to be done by 6, but there was a clear understanding
that the members would be allowed to leave as scheduled at 6:00.

ing problems at home tend to result from overcommitment, insufficient travel time between
event locations, and weather conditions affecting travel.
Mindful of the problems of alienation and exhaustion caused by congressional schedules,
leaders and members have discussed a variety of scheduling options since the 1990s, but none
of the alternatives has taken hold. Both chambers looked at options such as three weeks in

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session and one week not in session each month. The House looked at the possibility of elim-
inating evening votes, and went so far as to build a “family room” for members’ children near
the House floor, just off Statuary Hall.
Nothing has happened to make congressional committee and floor schedules more pre-
dictable. Members have also not changed their behavior in traveling routinely to their dis-
tricts or states, and constituents have not changed their expectations for members to be phys-
ically present in their districts or states as often as possible.
Within this demanding and shifting framework, a member’s time and attention are
resources that must be strategically and tactically deployed. Effectiveness in Congress is often-
times based on a member taking the right step at the right time and being in the right place at
the right time. Committee markups, floor debate and votes, constituent visits, calls to cam-
paign contributors, purposeful chats with party leaders, and other important activities must be
accommodated in the swirl of ever-changing and unpredictable schedules.

§ 1.60 Family Life


In addition to public and institutional pressures and demands, a member faces the challenge
of balancing public and private lives. The demands of congressional service take a toll on a
member’s family and family life.
Just a little over a generation ago, most members’ families lived in the Washington area.
Today, a significant number of members’ families live in the home district or state. It is a key
difference in congressional life. Washington is a very expensive city compared with many of
the places that members call home. To relocate a family and provide comparable housing,
schools, and lifestyle is beyond many members’ means. In Washington, spouses and children
are cut off from the network of family and friends in their hometowns. Members, therefore,
end up maintaining two residences, even if one is a tiny or shared apartment on Capitol Hill.
Some members with families back home even stay in their Washington office rather than rent
another place to live, although the House and Senate discourage that.
Whether a member’s family lives in Washington or elsewhere, the toll on family and per-
sonal life is high. A spouse can become a stranger when one is a member of Congress. The
time it takes to be a member of Congress can be a factor in a marriage’s breakup. Even when
a family is in Washington and a member goes to his or her district or state a bit less frequent-
ly or for a shorter period of time, the schedule of the House or Senate in session seems to pre-
clude a regular home life. As mentioned in § 1.50, there has been discussion of “family friend-
ly scheduling” in the last several Congresses, but no identifiable changes have endured.
Moreover, congressional families reflect changes in American life. Many spouses work.
Delayed childbearing has affected members, too, with many of them, including an increasing
number of women members, having young children at the same time they are building their
congressional careers. For these and other reasons, Congress in session has become the tem-

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18
Chapter 13: Congressional Deskbook:
B e i n g a Being
M e m baeMember
r o f C o nofg Congress
r e s s § 1.70

porary location for many members. A family and the constituents back home make the dis-
trict or state the member’s principal residence and workplace. Members are in Washington
three or four days a week and not at all when there is a week-long recess.
1
A generation ago, members of Congress got to know each other fairly well. Members,
spouses, and families socialized together. Members themselves would also socialize at activi-
ties such as weekly poker games. That is much less common among junior members today.
Some representatives, in reaction, have attempted to create some common ground. Two
bipartisan family “retreats” were organized at Hershey Park, PA, just after the convening of
the 105th and 106th Congresses, to enable House members and their families to socialize
together. The 107th and 108th Congresses’ retreats were held at the Greenbrier resort in
White Sulphur Springs, WV, but no subsequent bipartisan or family retreats have been held
since then. Congressional spouse organizations also attempt to provide a common ground.
(See § 5.191, Congressional Spouse Organizations.)
Senators’ lives seem to have been affected somewhat less dramatically than those of rep-
resentatives. A senator is somewhat more likely to have older grown children rather than be a
parent of young children during his or her Senate service, and the relentless travel to the home
state is principally a feature of the last two years of a term. It is also somewhat less common for
a senator’s spouse and family to reside in the home state rather than in the Washington area.
Like the trade-offs between obligations and perquisites, the honor and rewards of serving
in Congress come at a price. A member’s family might be unprepared for its new status and
regular separation from one parent. A member might be unprepared for the loneliness of hav-
ing family far away.

§ 1.70 Staying in Congress


Another change in congressional service involves members’ departures from Congress after a
few terms.
The median number of terms or years that a member might be expected to serve in Con-
gress declined for some time. A generation ago, a newly elected member could reasonably
expect to be reelected. Members frequently served twenty years or more before retirement.
Reelection rates for the House—members choosing to run for reelection—are historically
over 90 percent. At the beginning of the 110th Congress, the median number of terms served
by representatives was five (ten years). Reelection rates for the Senate are historically below
those for the House, but are still high. At the beginning of the 110th Congress, the median
number of years served in the Senate was ten.
However, members whose seats are safe, who have no problem raising campaign funds,
who hold positions of influence within Congress, and who contribute substantially to legisla-
tion regularly decide not to run for reelection. Why is this commitment to a career in Con-
gress eroding?

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Members of Congress cite many dissatisfactions with the congressional way of life as it has
evolved over a generation. Some of these are as follows:
• high toll on personal and family life
• living with guilt over trying and being unable to be all things to all people, especially
loved ones
• life in a fishbowl
• backbreaking schedule
• loss of time to think and be expert
• partisanship of Congress
• anonymity among colleagues that goes with a three-and-one-half-day-a-week
presence in Washington
• endless fund-raising and the cost of campaigns
• undue influence of special interests
• negative campaigning, which has become year-round and includes groups affiliated
with one’s own party as well as the opposition party
• perceived irrelevance and intransigence of Congress in solutions to national problems
• vacuous, symbolic, and partisan legislation and votes on the congressional agenda
• perception of parties’ lack of interest in governing
• low salary for the work and high cost of being a member of Congress
• need for a higher salary to provide family needs, such as college costs
• decline of interest in public service
• term limits as a political issue and as a reality in committee and subcommittee
chairmanships
• stronger interest in other careers
The hardship of congressional life is undeniable. Even the most self-confident and politi-
cally gifted member might choose to make a change after a few terms.
However, turnover might also reflect generational changes in how Americans view their
jobs. Many workers today hold several jobs in the course of a lifetime, in contrast to the norm
in their parents’ generation, when a successful career might have meant working for just one
or two employers. In part, the shorter tenure of members of Congress could simply reflect larg-
er national trends.
Whatever the reason for a member departing after a few terms, the departure means a loss
of expertise and of political experience in Congress. National problems are complex and not
easily mastered in a short time. Even with knowledge or expertise, members need political
experience to identify and engineer legislative solutions. For the professional interacting with
Congress, the shorter tenure presents both opportunities and challanges in developing work-
ing relationships, understanding congressional dynamics, and advocating and facilitating leg-
islative solutions. (See Chapter Four, Pressures on Congress: Lobbying and Congressional Ethics.)

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20
Chapter 14: Congressional Deskbook: Supporting Congress: Allowances and Staff

Chapter Five

1
Supporting Congress: 2
3
Allowances 4
and Staff 5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
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Analysis
section title

5.00 Introduction
5.10 Pay and Allowances of Members
5.20 Salary, Earned Income, and Benefits
5.30 House Allowances for Staff, Office, and Other Expenses
5.40 Senate Allowances for Staff, Office, and Other Expenses
5.41 Senators’ Official Personnel and Office Expense Account
5.50 Franking Privilege
5 5.60
5.61
Personal Staff
Staff Salary Data
5.62 Congressional Staff Organizations
5.70 Committee and Subcommittee Staff
5.80 House of Representatives Committee Funding
5.90 Senate Committee Funding
5.100 Congressional Fellowships and Internships
5.110 Administrative Offices of the House
5.111 Chaplains and Guest Chaplains
5.112 Selling Products and Services to Congress
5.113 Congressional Pages
5.120 Administrative Offices of the Senate
5.121 Architect of the Capitol
5.122 Office of the Attending Physician
5.123 Capitol Police
5.130 Legislative-Branch Support Agencies
5.131 Requesting GAO Assistance
5.140 Government Printing Office
5.150 Congressional Accountability Act
5.160 General Services Administration
5.170 Congressional Liaison Offices
5.171 Liaison Offices on Capitol Hill
5.172 Duties of a Congressional Liaison Office
5.173 General Counsel Offices
5.180 Office of Management and Budget
5.190 Outside Groups
5.191 Congressional Spouse Organizations

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Chapter 15: Congressional Deskbook: Supporting Congress:
T h e C a pThe
i t o lCapitol
C o m pComplex
l e x § 6.20

ter and child, and a mechanic. Sheaves of wheat, symbolic of fertility, and an anchor, symbol-
ic of hope, complete this side of the tympanum. (See also § 6.15, Resources on the Capitol.)

§ 6.20 Guide to Public Buildings on Capitol Hill


The Capitol and surrounding congressional buildings are accessible by Metro (subway), bus,
taxi, and car. The Metro station closest to the Capitol and the House office buildings is Capi-
tol South; the station closest to the Senate office buildings is Union Station. Public parking is
very limited, with Union Station north of the Senate office buildings being the closest place
where parking is nearly always available. Visitors with disabilities who have appointments at
the Capitol may request parking; the congressional office with whom the visitor has an
appointment should contact the Congressional Special Services Office to reserve a parking
space. Street spaces are restricted to permit holders or to short-term parking (neighborhood
zone and meters).
Public and barrier-free entrances to the Capitol and other public Capitol Hill buildings
are shown on the Capitol Hill map. (See § 6.21, Capitol Hill Map.) The Congressional Special
6
Services Office assists congressional staff and visitors with disabilities. It provides guided
tours, wheelchairs, TDD-TTY support, interpreting, FM systems, and special assistance at
events. (Call 202-224-4048 or, TDD-TTY, 202-224-4049.)
Visitor entrances to the Capitol are limited during construction of the Capitol Visitor
Center, which is being built on the East Front. Visitors must obtain timed-entry tickets at a
kiosk on First Street, SW, between Independence and Maryland Avenues (across from the
Botanical Garden), and queue up near the House south door. (For information, call the Capitol
Guide Service, 202-225-6827. See also § 3.112, Constituent Services and Courtesies.) Guided
tours can also be arranged in advance through the office of a member of Congress. The House
south door, House steps, and carriageway door are open, as are the Senate north door, Senate
steps, and carriageway door. Visitors to the House and Senate galleries, which are open when
the respective chamber is in session and during business hours Monday through Friday, must
obtain gallery passes from a member of Congress; admission is through the House south door
and Senate north door. (See § 6.22, Capitol Security.)
The West Front faces The Mall, with its terraces providing sweeping views of Pennsylva-
nia Avenue, the Smithsonian buildings, and other museums, monuments, and federal office
buildings.
In elevator lobbies in the Capitol and House and Senate office buildings, a visitor finds
wall directories for the offices of representatives, senators, committees, and other officials,
including both office and telephone numbers. Often there are floor plans in the elevator lob-
bies, as well, to orient visitors.
Many rooms in the Capitol and congressional office buildings are available for meals,
receptions, meetings, and other activities. A person or organization wishing to arrange a Capi-

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177
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§ 6.21

Capitol Hill Map

N Union Station

NEW
Metro Station
(one block north)

JERS
EY A
LG

V
ENU
L

E
G
G
L L L

#G G

L
L

G
L

G G
#G L
G
Federal Center SW Metro Station

L G L LG
L

G L

Source: Adapted from Architect of the Capitol


L L G
Metro Station
Capitol South

G L
L L L

L N
L

L Visitor’s entrance to the office buildings G Barrier-free entrances for handicapped


# Entrances for members, staff, accredited N Public parking lots
press, building access card holders, and
visitors with business appointments only North

tol Hill event must work through the office of a member of Congress, a congressional com-
mittee or a congressional leader.

Capitol
The chambers of the House and Senate, National Statuary Hall, and the Rotunda are located on
the second (“principal”) floor of the Capitol. (See § 6.23, The Capitol’s Second (Principal) Floor.)

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178
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Senate Buzzer and Light Signals

1. One long ring at • One red light remains lighted at all times while the Senate
hour of convening is in session.
2. One ring • Yeas and nays.
3. Two rings • Quorum call.
4. Three rings • Call of absentees.
5. Four rings • Adjournment or recess (end of daily session).
6. Five rings • Seven and one-half minutes remaining on yea-or-nay vote.
7. Six rings • Morning Business concluded, with lights shut off
immediately; or recess during daily session, with lights
staying on during period of recess.
8. Twelve rings rung at • Civil Defense Warning.
two-second intervals

House Bell and Light Signals

1. One long ring • Occurs fifteen minutes before the House convenes, with
one ring at the time of convening. One red light remains
lighted at all times while the House is in session.
2. One long ring, pause, • Signals the start or continuation of a notice quorum call.
followed by three rings It is terminated if and when 100 members appear.
3. One long ring • Termination of a notice quorum call.
4. Two rings • Fifteen-minute electronically recorded vote.
5. Two rings, pause, • Manual roll-call vote. The bells are sounded again
followed by two rings when the clerk reaches the letter R in the roster of
representatives. Manual roll-call votes are rare.
6. Two rings, pause, • First vote under suspension of the rules or on clustered
followed by five rings votes. Two rings occur five minutes later. The first vote
of a set of clustered votes takes fifteen minutes. Successive
votes are taken at intervals of not less than five minutes,
and each successive vote is signaled by five rings.

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186
Chapter 15: Congressional Deskbook: Supporting Congress:
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House Bell and Light Signals

7. Three rings • Quorum call, either initially or after a notice quorum has
been converted to a regular quorum call. The bells are
repeated five minutes after the first ring. Members have
fifteen minutes to be recorded.
8. Three rings, pause, • Manual quorum call. The bells are sounded again
followed by three rings when the clerk reaches the letter R in the roster of
representatives. Manual quorum calls are rare.
9. Three rings, pause, • Quorum call in Committee of the Whole, which may
followed by five rings be immediately followed by a five-minute recorded vote.
10. Four rings • Adjournment of the House.
11. Five rings
12. Six rings
• Five-minute electronically recorded vote.
• Recess of the House.
6
13. Twelve rings rung at • Civil Defense Warning.
two-second intervals

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187
Chapter 16: Resources from TheCapitol.Net

Resources from TheCapitol.Net


Web Pages
• FAQ: Pay and Perquisites of Members of Congress
<www.CongressPay.com>

Capitol Learning Audio Courses™


<www.CapitolLearning.com>

• Congressional Pay and Perks


ISBN: 1587330873

• What Your Member of Congress Can Do for You: Gallery Passes, Flags,
Presidential Greetings, and Help with Federal Agencies
ISBN: 1587330733

Live Training
<www.CapitolHillTraining.com>

• Understanding Congressional Budgeting and Appropriations


<www.CongressionalBudgeting.com>

• Advanced Federal Budget Process


<www.BudgetProcess.com>

• The President's Budget


<www.PresidentsBudget.com>

• Capitol Hill Workshop


<www.CapitolHillWorkshop.com>

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Goverment Series: Congressional Pay and Perks

Other Resources
Resources

1787-1800
June 26, 1787
Senate Terms and Salaries

The framers of the Constitution, meeting in Philadelphia on June 26, 1787, made two key decisions
about Senate operations. They established the term of office and the source of compensation.

A majority of convention delegates shared James Madison’s view that the Senate needed protection
from momentary shifts of public opinion. The best protection would be a lengthy term of office for
its members, without possibility of recall. Madison thought nine years would serve that purpose,
with one-third of the seats expiring every three years. When put to a vote, however, his proposal
lost by a large margin. With other delegates pushing for just four years to keep members from
losing touch with their constituencies, the convention adopted a six-year compromise.

The convention then turned to the touchy issue of members’ salaries. Benjamin Franklin believed
the Senate should represent the nation’s wealthy classes; therefore if no salary were provided,
only wealthy persons would serve. He warned that if the convention authorized salaries, the
public might suspect it of having “carved out places” for the younger delegates who would be
natural senators. When put to a vote, Franklin’s proposal nearly won, with five states in favor
and six opposed.

Then the question arose as to who would pay the salaries. Several delegates suggested the
individual states. Madison reminded them that this would destroy the principle that senators
were to be “impartial umpires & Guardians of justice and General good,” reflecting national as
well as state interests. It would also subvert the plan for a six-year term, as states could in effect
recall senators by withholding their salaries. This motion also failed by a five to six vote.

The framers subsequently decided that members should be paid out of the national treasury,
but—in their wisdom—left it to the new Congress to decide how and how much.

Reference Items:
• Kurland, Philip B., and Ralph Lerner. The Founders’ Constitution.
Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987. CD-ROM: ISBN: 0226463907
Softbound:
• Volume 1, ISBN: 0865973024
• Volume 2, ISBN: 0865973032
• Volume 3, ISBN: 0865973040
• Volume 4, ISBN: 0865973059
• Volume 5, ISBN: 0865973067
Source: <www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/minute/Senate_Terms_and_Salaries.htm>

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Chapter 17: Other Resources

1787-1800
September 14, 1789
Congressional Pay

What would be a fair salary for a member of the Senate? The framers of the U.S. Constitution, in
their wisdom, dodged that potentially explosive question. Some believed, however, that because
senators would probably come from the well-to-do classes, they should receive no salary at all.

Under the Articles of Confederation—the constitution in effect during the framers’ 1787
deliberations—members of the existing Congress received varying salaries from their individual
states. If a state legislature became dissatisfied with one of its representatives in the Continental
Congress, it could simply suspend his salary.

Seeking to narrow state powers over the central government, the Constitution’s authors provided
that congressional salaries would come from the federal treasury, with Congress setting the
actual amount.

As one of its first orders of business, the House of Representatives formed a committee to
draft congressional pay legislation. The panel recommended six dollars for each day a member
attended a session. But Representative James Madison, the Constitution’s principal architect,
irritated his fellow House members by proposing that senators be paid more than representatives
because they presumably had greater responsibilities under the Constitution. The House ignored
Madison and accepted the six-dollar rate for both chambers.

When the clerk of the House carried the pay bill to the Senate chamber, senators were
preoccupied with major legislation establishing cabinet departments, locating the permanent
seat of government, and creating the Bill of Rights. Nevertheless they found time for a heated
debate on salaries. Pennsylvania’s Robert Morris moved that senators receive two dollars more
than House members so that they would not have to live in substandard boarding houses and
associate with “improper company.”

On September 14, 1789, in the face of solid House opposition, the Senate agreed to a curious
face-saving arrangement. Senators would receive one dollar more than House members, but
not for another six years—and the higher rate would remain in effect for one year only.

Six years later, senators did receive the extra dollar, but just for a two-week special session in
which only the Senate was convened to consider a treaty.

For the next 187 years, members of both houses received the same rate of pay. Then, in 1983,
perhaps as a long-deferred reward for the House’s earlier patience, its members received a
higher salary than senators—but only for a few months. Call it even.

Reference Item:
• U.S. Congress. Senate. The Senate, 1789-1989, Vol. 2, by Robert C. Byrd.
100th Cong., 1st sess., 1991. S. Doc.100-20.
Source: <www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/minute/Congressional_Pay.htm>

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Goverment Series: Congressional Pay and Perks

Power Trips by Steve Henn (Sept. 2004)


American RadioWorks®

Reforms in recent years have made many of the lush perks once enjoyed by Congress disappear.
But not all, certainly not travel. That’s the conclusion of an investigation by Marketplace,
American RadioWorks, and a team of graduate students from Northwestern’s Medill School of
Journalism, who cataloged every privately sponsored trip taken by members of the House or
Senate since 2000. The result: Over $14 million spent by corporations, universities, and other
outside interests, sending representatives around the world, for sometimes questionable reasons.
<http://americanradioworks.publicradio.org/features/congtravel/>

Internet Resources
• Answers to Questions about Congressional Pay & Perks,
from the National Taxpayers Union
<www.ntu.org/main/page.php?PageID=52>

• “Congressional Perks: How the Trappings of Office Trap Taxpayers,”


by Peter J. Sepp, From the National Taxpayers Union, NTUF Policy Paper 131, Nov 1, 2000
<www.ntu.org/main/press.php?PressID=343>

• “Slashing Congressional Spending, Part I: Congressional Pay, Pensions,


Perks, and Staff,” by Dan Greenberg, The Heritage Foundation, May 16, 1995
<www.heritage.org/Research/Budget/BG1034.cfm>

• Executive Order 13527: “Adjustments of Certain Rates of Pay,”


Federal Register, Vol. 74 No. 249, page 69231, December 23, 2009 (12-page pdf )
<http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2009/pdf/E9-31098.pdf>

Books
• Vital Statistics on Congress 2008, by Norman J. Ornstein, Thomas Mann,
Michael Malbin, Brookings Institution Press, ISBN: 0815766653

• Congress as Public Enemy: Public Attitudes toward American Political Institutions,


by John R. Hibbing and Elizabeth Theiss-Morse, Cambridge University Press,
ISBN: 0521483360

• Unelected Representatives, by Michael J. Malbin, Harper Colophon Books,


ISBN: 0465088678

• Almanac of the Unelected: Staff of the U.S. Congress, 2008, 21st Edition,
by Lisa Friedman, Bernan Press, ISBN: 1598881841

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