Gov Career

By Phil Piemonte

Blog archive

At last—a salary cut you can love

If you have never heard of Republican Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, of the state of Washington, that’s OK, because she’s brand-new to Congress and has only just introduced her first bill.

The measure, if it is passed into law, would please a lot of folks who have posted comments on this blog regarding the salaries of members of Congress. Reason: Herrera Beutler’s bill calls for a 10 percent cut in the salaries of members of Congress, as well as those of the president and vice president.

Since members make $174,000 a year, that would be a $17,400 cut. Not peanuts, but if the Center for Responsive Politics is right, it won’t put much of a dent in most lawmakers’ lifestyle, either.

Members of Congress tend to be pretty well to do. CRP says the incoming class of freshmen is no exception. The group figures that the median estimated wealth of Senate freshmen is $3.96 million, and of House freshmen, $570,418.

Of course, those are medians. Among members of Congress as a whole, there are wide swings, from a handful of lawmakers who look like church mice to members whose wealth is in the hundreds of millions. And the wealth is non-partisan—plenty of rich folks on each side.

Depending on how curious you are, you can take a look at a spreadsheet that the group has put online to find out how much your very own member of Congress is worth. The group pulled numbers from the annual personal financial disclosure reports that members are required to file.

Happy digging.

Posted by Phil Piemonte on Mar 11, 2011 at 4:02 PM

Reader comments

Thu, Mar 31, 2011 Mark Utah

I think this is a great bill proposal, of course congress will never go for it. I am a GS-4 working to find a permenant position in Government Service after spending the first 20 years of my career in the military. I make less that 1/4 of what a congressman makes even with my retirement and it's outragous when they don't do a whole lot anyway. Pay me for arguing all day long with the other party memebers and I'll gladly work for 50,000 a year.

Thu, Mar 24, 2011 memphis, tn


Fri, Mar 18, 2011 Hanover, PA

I would LOVE to see the LOBBYISTS support THIS bill!!! I doubt if it will happen but we can hope!!

Thu, Mar 17, 2011 Philadelphia

I do hope this bill comes through. There are some people who do any thing to get a higher grade and they will even lie to get the grade 5 employee in trouble because that employee knows what how that employee got her grade 13. That is why the employees who are grade 12 and higher should get their salary cut for two years they should be given their old grade salary so that would really give the Federal Government a lot of money. There are some high grade employees who fool around a lot and work less. Therefore they should be the ones who should see less pay check for a year. Then too they will not realise. It is the grade 5 employees who work hard day and night and it is the grade 12 and 13 who take the name and if at all any grade 6 or 7 takes a name is because that employee has got connections in the department. Mr. President should look into this matter thoroughly. There is too much of lies being told about an honest person and the others are enjoying because they succeeded in getting high grades and getting that hard working employee in trouble.

Thu, Mar 17, 2011 TN

Love to see this happen, but never will.

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