Salaries and Allowances: Congress

S A L A R I E S AND ALLOWANCES: CONGRESS MINI B R I E F N U M B E R M B 8 0 2 0 6 AUTHOR: P a u l E. C w y e r Government D i v i s i o n THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE MAJOR I S S U E S S Y S T E M D A T E O R I G I N A T E D 02/14/80 DATE YPDATED 08/20/82 F O R A D D I T I O N A L I N F O R M A T I O N C A L L 287-5700 0823 CRS- 1 ISSUE DEFINITION This brief allowances. provides basic information on congressional salaries and BACKGROUND COMPENSATION O F MEMBERS OF CONGRESS $60,662.50 per annum Effective Jan. 1 , 1 9 8 2 , a Member i s allowed to d e d u c t , for income t a x purposes, l i v i n g expenses up t o $ 3 , 0 0 0 per annum while away from his o r her congressional district o r home State [ 2 6 U.S.C. 162(a) and 2 U.S.C. 31(c); 6 7 Stat. 322, Aug. 1 , 1 9 5 3 and reinstated by P.L. 97-216, 96 Stat. 1 9 4 , J u l y 1 8 , 19821. This provision was effective f o r Members prior to t h e 9 7 t h Congress. However, a s a r e s u l t o f legislation passed during the F i r s t Session of t h e 97th C c n g r e s s , the $ 3 , 0 0 0 annual limitation was repealed and n e w t a x provisions became effective retroactively to Jan. 1 , 1 9 8 1 (P.L. 97-51, 9 5 Stat. 9 6 7 , oct. 1 , 1981). ' Under t h e n e w t a x provisions a s directed by Congress and subsequently s e t forth by t h e I R S o n Jan. 2 1 , 1 9 8 2 , Members were permitted to choose a m o n g three a l ~ e r n a t i v e s i n calculating l i v i n g expenses. Under t h e first m e t h o d , a Member was allowed to deduct a l l living expenses while in Washington with n o statutory l i m i t on the amount of living expenses that could be deducted. Members were required to maintain complete documentation of a l l expenditures. Under t h e second method, a Member was allowed to deduct $ 5 0 per day multiplied by the number of congressional d a y s per y e a r , plus a n y interest and taxes o n h i s or her Washington a r e a home. (A congressional day w a s defined a s a n y day i n the taxaSle y e a r except f o r days in periods when t h e Member's Chamber w a s n o t in session for five consecutive d a y s o r m o r e , including weekends.) T h e only required documentation was for taxes a n d interest paid on t h e Member's Washington home. Under the third m e t h o d , a Member w a s permitted to Ceduct Sy the number of congressional days with no multiplied required. $75 per day documentation A Member was n o t a b l e to deduct interest and taxes on his o r her a r e a home. Washington INSURANCE AND RETIREMENT P R O V I S I O N S FOR MEMBERS OF CONGRESS HEALTH I N S U R A N C E Members a r e eligibie to participate i n the Federal Employees Health Program CRS- 2 with more than 6 0 optional health voluntary, contributory basis. benefit MB80206 plans. UPDATE-08/20/82 Participation is on . a LIFE INSURANCE Members are eligible t o participate in the Federal Employee L i f e Insurance Program with the amount of coverage for personal insurance computed by formula. RETIREMENT Retirement benefits a r e made available t o Members of Congress, upon their application under the Civil Service Retirement Act, as amended. Participation is voluntary with Members making payments of 8 % of their Salary into the system. T o draw benefits, a Member must have been in Congress a minimum of five y e a r s , a t a n y , t i m e , and have paid into the retirement fund f o r a t least the last five years of Federal civilian service. EXPENSE ALLOWANCES FOR UNITED S T A T E S REPRESENTATIVES H G U S Z ALLOWANCE SYSTEM Members have two allowances available t o them f o r discharging official and representational duties: (1) t h e Clerk Hire Allowance, and (2) the Official Expenses Allowance. CLERK HIRE ALLOWANCE Eazh Member i s entitled t o a n a n n u a l clerk hire allowance of $352,536 f o r not to exceed 1 8 permanent employees. As many a s four additional employees may be designated by the Member, but need n o t be counted a s permanent employees if they fall into one of the following categories: (11 Part-time employees; (2) Employees drawing compensation from more than o n e employing authority of the House; 3 Interns, other than LBJ interns (see below); ( 4 ) Enployees on leave-without-pay status; and ( 5 ) Temporary employees. Employees' salaries a r e set a t annual rates of not l e s s excess of $57,500. than $1,200 or in HOUSE INTERN PROGRAM Members are authorized to employ f o r two months in a n y - year an additional employee to be k n o w n a s a "Lyndon Baines Johnson Congressional Intern." The amount available t o each Member f o r employment of a n intern i s established a t a total gross sum of $1,700 payable a t a rate of $ 8 5 0 per month from the contingent fund of the House. No more than o n e intern a t a time may be employed during t h e 2-month period. CRS- 3 OFFICIAL EXPENSES ALLOWANCE A base allowance of $47,300 is authorized each representational duties of his or her office. available in addition to: Member for This basic official and allowance is (1) A sum for travel based upon a formula: the distance between D.C. a n d furthest point in a Member's district times 64 times a per mile rate that ranges from 3 0 cents to 1 8 cents depending on distance. This account is in no case to be less than $4,950. (2) The dollar equivalent to 15,000 times the highest long-distance telephone rate per minute from the District of Columbia to the Member's district. In no case is the equivalent amount specified to be less than $6,000. If the Member has elected to use WATS or similar service in his or her office, the 15,000 minute multiplier will be reduced by one half. In no case is the equivalent amount in such case to be less than $3,000. (3) The dollar e q u i v a l e n t t o 2,500 square feet multiplied by the highest applicable rate per square foot charged the Federal agencies by the Administrator of the General Services Administration in the district for rental of office space. The Official Expenses Allowance may be used for expenses of travel, office equipment lease, district office lease, stationery, telecommunications, mass mailings, postage, computer services, and other official expenses. The following items or Classes of items are excluded from those that may be paid from the allowance: (1) Expenses relating to the hiring and employment of individuals, including, but not limited t o , employment service fees, transportation of interviewees to and from employment interviews, and cost of relocation upon acceptance or termination of employment. (2) Items purchased from Other than the House stationery store which have a useful life in excess of the current term of the Member, and which would have a residual value of more than $25 upon the expiration of the current term of the Member. ( 3 ) Holiday greeting cards, flowers, and trophies. (4) Personal advertisements (other than meeting or appearance notices). (5) Donations of any type, except flags of the United States flown over the Capitol and items purchased for use as gifts when o n official travel for the House of Representatives outside the United States, its territories, or CRS- 4 MB80206 UPDATE-O~/~O/ possessions. ( 6 ) Dues or assessments other than to legislative support organizations a s approved by the Committee on House Administration. (7) Educational expenses for courses of study, information or training programs, unless the benefit accrues primarily to the House and the skill or knowledge is not commonly avaiiable. ( 8 ) Purchases of radio and television time. (9) Parking for Member and employees at district offices, except when included as a n integral part of the lease or occupancy agreement for the district office space. A Member may elect to reduce the Clerk Hire Allowance by up to $15,000 session and increase the Official Expenses Allowance by a like amount. per OTHER ALLOWANCES MILEAGE ALLOWANCE FOR TRAVEL TO AND FROM EACH SESSION OF CONGRESS Each Member is entitled to an amount equivalent to 20 mileage to and from each regular session of Congress. cents per mile for TRAVEL ALLOWANCE FOR ORGANIZATIONAL CAUCUSES OR CONFERENCES an Each Member-elect and one designated staff person who . attend organizational caucus or conference and each incumbent Member reelected to the ensuing Congress and one designated staff person who attend any such caucus or conference convening after the adjournment sine die of the Congress in the year involved are to be paid for one round trip each between place of residence in the district and Washington, D.C. for purpose of attending such caucus or conference. Each Member-elect (other than an incumbent Member reelected to the ensuinq Congress) who attends such caucus or conference i s , in addition, to be reimbursed on a per diem or other basis for expenses incurred in connection with attendance. EXPENSE ALLOWANCES FOR UNITED STATES SENATORS OFFICIAL OFFICE EXPENSE ACCOUNT Effective Oct. 1 , 1 9 7 7 , an Official Office Expense Account was established for each Senator. Accounts range from $33,000 to $143,000 per annum. Each account varies for each Senator due to the factors used in setting the CRS- 5 MB80206 uPDATE-O~/ZO/E~ individual a l l o w a n c e amounts: distance between Washington, D.C. and the home S t a t e and population of the State. T h e Disbursing Office i s authorized to make payment to a Senator a s soon a s a n expense i s submitted with documentation. T h e total allowance, payable from t h e contingent fund of t h e S e n a t e , is determined by totaling the amounts that were previously established for separate allowance categories. Presently, these categories include: (1) Official telegrams a n d long-distance telephone calls and related services. (2) Stationery and other office supplies procured through the Senate Stationery Room f o r use for official business. (3) Mailing or delivery of postal matters relating to official business. (4) Official office expenses incurred in h i s o r her S t a t e (other than equipment and furniture). Purchase of office equipment Seyond basic allocations may be made through the 1 0 % f u n d s , listed under (9) below. ( 5 ) Official telephone charges incurred outside Washington, D.C. ( 6 ) Subscriptions to newspapers, magazines, periodicals, and clipping o r similar services. (7) Travel expenses incurred by t h e Senator and employees i n h i s or %er off ice. (8) Expenses incurred by individuals selected by a Senator to serve o n panels or other bodies making recommendations f o r nominees to service a c a d e m i e s o r Federal judgeships. (9) Other official expenses a s the Senator determines a r e necessary: (a) additional office equipment for Washington, D.C., o r State offices. (b) actual transportation expenses incurred by the Senator and employees for official business in the Washington metropolitan area. This Ls a l s o allowed to employees assigned to a State office for actual transportation expenses in the general vicinity of t h e office to which assigned, but i s n o t available f o r a change of assignment within the State o r for commuting between h o m e and office. T h e total reimbursement expense f o r t h e calendar year may not of t h e total Official Office Expense Account. exceed 10% A separate section appears in t h e quarterly Report of the Secretary of t h e S e n a t e showing a l l expenses reimbursed to each Senator under this item. T h e following expenses may not be reimbursed Office Allowance (4) or the 10% Allowance: through either the State CRS- 6 MB80236 UPDATE-O~/~O/~Z (1) Commuting, including parking fees incurred in commuting. (2) Purchase of holiday greetin9 cards, flowers, trophies, awards, and certificates. (3) Donations or gifts of any type, except gifts of flags flown over the U.S. Capitol and copies of the book, "We, the People." (4) Dues or assessments. (5) Purchase of radio or television time, or for space in newspaper or other print media, except classified advertising for personnel to be employed in a Senator's office. (6) Expenses incurred by an individual who is not an employee, except those individuals selected by a Senator to serve on panels or other bodies making recommendations for nominees to service academies or Federal judgeships. (7) Travel expenses by employees incurred pursuant to a change of assignment within the State or in commuting between home and office. (8) Relocation expenses incurred by a n employee i n connection with the commencement or termination of employment or a change of duty station. (9) Compensation paid to an individual for personal services performed in a normal employer-employee relationship. (This language is interpreted to prohibit contracts for services between staff and Member; all personal office staff must be on the Senate monthly payroll). Payment of or reimbursement for the prohibited by law: following expenses is specifically 58 (a)]. (1) Expenses incurred for entertainment or meals [ 2 U.S.C. (2) Payment of a'dditional salary or compensation to an employee (2 U.S.C. 68). (3) Expenses incurred for the maintenance or care of private vehicles (contained in each regular annual Legislative Branch Appropriations Act). The Account can be used for official office expenses of the senator and his or her staff with no limitation on the amount which can be spent in a n y - one category (except for the limitation of 10% for "Official Expensesw). The statutory mileage, at the rate of 20 cents a mile for each Senator to and returning from each regular session of Congress, is a separate appropriation which is not paid from the Official Office Expense Account. CRS- 7 OTHER ALLOWANCES A D M I N I S T R A T I V E A N D CLERICAL ASSISTANCE T O SENATORS Regular clerk hire allowances are allocated according to the size of a Senator's State, and vary from $621,054 for a Senator representing a State with population less than 2,000,000 to $1,247,879 for a Senator representing a State with population of 21,000,000 or more. There are 1 6 population categories. Each Senator may set the rates of compensation for employees in his or her office so long as no employee receives a salary at a rate less than $1,151 per annum or in excess of $37,648 per annum, except that (i) the salaries of three employees may be Set at not more than $53,600 per annum; (ii) the salaries of five employees may be set at not more than $54,100 per annum; (iii) the salary of one employee may be set a t not more than $57,000 per annum; and (iv) the salaries of all other employees may be fixed at not more than $37,648 per annum. An unspecified number of staff can be employed under the total clerk hire allowance for each Senator. ADDITIONAL LEGISLATIVE ASSISTANCE TO SENATORS Senators are authorized an allowance of $192,624 per fiscal year for purposes of appointing legislative assistants to assist him or her with legislation of committees on which serving. However, the ectitlement of funds is to be reduced on the basis of committee assignment and amount of committee staff assistance that a Senator controls by appointment or recommendation. SENATE INTERNS Senators may employ interns during the academic year and during the summer with Senators making their own financial arrangements for such employment. PAPER AND ENVELOPE ALLOWANCE An annual paper allowance of blank sheets (memo, offset paper), letterheads, and envelopes for each Senator is based on State population as follows: States with 1,200,000 or fewer adult constitutents are entitled to 1,200,000 sheets of paper per year. All other States are entitled to one sheet of paper per year, per adult constitutent. Letterheads and envelopes vary from 180,000 to 360,000. A monthly allowance of public document envelopes for each Senator is based upon State population ranging from maximum allowance of 100,000 to a minimum of 50,000 letterheads and envelopes. OFFICE SPACE IN STATES Each Senator is authorized to secure, in an amount determined by law, suitable office space in Federal buildings in the State he or she represents. CRS- 8 MB80206 UPDATE-O~/~~ In the event suitable office space is not available in Federal buildings, a Senator is authorized to lease privately ownee office space. T,he aggregate square feet of office space secured for a Senator (with no restrictions on the number of offices) ranges in 13 categories from 4 , 8 0 0 square feet if the population of his or her State is less than 2,000,000 to 8,000 square feet if such population is 17,000,000 or more. MOBILE OFFICE SPACE FOR SENATORS Each Senator is entitled to lease one mobile office for use only i n the State he or she represents and is to be reimbursed for rental payments and cost of operating the office. Limitations have been placed on the terms of the lease and maximum annual rental payments and operating costs that may be reimbursed to a Senator. OFFICE EQUIPMENT IN STATES Other than office space rental, each Senator is authorized an aggregate amount of $22,550 for State office furniture, equipment and other office furnishings for one or more offices if the aggregate square feet of office space is not in excess of 4,800 square feet. Such aggregate. amount of $22,550 is increased by $500 for each authorized additional incremental increase in cffice space of 200 square feet. Therefore, the aggregate allowance ranges between $22,550 and $31,350. OFFICE EQUIPMENT IN WASHINGTON Each Senator receives certain basic office equipment allocated in accord.ance with the population of State and other factors as stipulated by the Senate Rules and Administration Committee. ORIENTATION SEMINARS FOR NEW SENATORS AND STAFF MEMBERS The Secretary of the Senate and the Sergeant at Arms and Doorkeeper of the Senate are authorized to expend sums not to exceed $3,000 during any fiscal year, to conduct orientation seminars for new Senators and staff. COMPENSATION AND ALLOWANCES OF SENATE) COMPENSATION: THE VICE PRESIDENT (AS $79,125 per annum EXPENSE ALLOWANCE $10,000 per annum, non-taxable nor allowable a s a deduction under the Internal Revenue Code CLERK HIRE, AS PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE $945,000 for FY82 STATIONERY, AS PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE $4,500 per annum POSTAGE, AS PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE PRESIDENT THE - CRS- 9 MB60206 UPDATE-08/20/62 $ 1 , 2 1 5 for air mail and special delivery each f i s c a l y e a r , i n addition to authorized u s e of the franking privilege provided to Members of Congress Retirement benefits, based o n a g e and length of s e r v i c e , a s w e l l a s prior military a n d Federal Government service, a r e a v a i l a b l e to t h e V i c e P r e s i d e n t , upon application. VICE PRESIDENTIAL PROTECTION T h e Vice President i s entitled to protection of t h e Department of t h e Treasury. Secret Service of COMPENSATION AND ALLOWANCES OF T H E SPEAKER OF T H E H O U S E OF R E P R E S E N T A T I V E S COMPENSATION: $ 7 9 , 1 2 5 per annum EXPENSE ALLOWANCE $ 1 0 , 0 0 0 per a n n u m , t a x a b l e T h e S p e a k e r , a s a n elected House M e m b e r , i s a l s o entitled to a n y other benefits received a s a Member of the House. CLERK HIRE T h e Speaker i s allowed twelve staff m e m b e r s a s S p e a k e r , in addition t o his clerk hire a s a Representative. OFFICE ALLOWANCE T h e Speaker i s entitled t o a n a d d i t i o n a l $ 4 0 , 0 0 0 per session to be paid from t h e contingent f u n d of the H o u s e for office personnel and rental or l e a s e of neccessary equipment. RETIREMENT T h e Speaker of the H o u s e , a s a Member of t h e H o u s e , r e c e i v e s the same retirement benefits a s a Member o f Congress. Provisions have been made in the past f o r F e d e r a l o f f i c e s p a c e , furniture, equipment, f u r n i s h i n g s , a n d staff f o r specified periods of time for r e t i r e d Speakers. COMPENSATION OF CONGRESSIONAL OFFICERS AND L E A D E R S HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES AND S E N A T E Majority and Minority Leaders o f t h e House of $68,575.00 Representatives and Senate.. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES .......... per a n n u m the Clerk of the House....................... Sergeant at Arms......................... Doorkeeper Parliamentarian......................... Chaplain SENATE .............................. ................................ Secretary of the Senate................. Sergeant a t Arms and Doorkeeper Parliamentarian......................... Chaplain President pro tempore.......... ......... ................................ ......... Secretary for Majority Secretary for Minority ................,. .................. $59,500.00 $59,500.00 $59,500.00 $59,500.00 $58,500.00 per per per per per annum annum annum annum annum $59,500.00 $59,500.00 $58,500.00 $55,382.00 $68,575.00 $79,125.00 when there President $59,000.00 $59,000.00 per annum per annum per annum per annum per annum; per annum is no Vice per annum per annum COMPENSATION OF STANDING COMMITTEE EMPLOYEES HOUSE OF REPRESEN.TATIVES Maximum salary for not to exceed two employees is $58,500 per annum. All other employees are limited to $57,500 per annum. SENATE STANDING COMMITTEES EXCEPT APPROPRIATIONS Maximum salary for not to exceed four employees is $58,500 per annum. Maximum salary for not to exceed two other employees is $54,900 per annum. Maximum salary for each of all other employees is $53,600 per annum. APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE Maximum salary for not to exceed five employees is $58,500 per annum. Maximum salary for not to exceed 1 6 other employees is $54,900 per annum.