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CONGRESSIONAL SALARIES

By The Issue Wonk

 

According to Article I, Section 6 of the Constitution, Congress determines its own salary. Prior to 1969 this was done by legislation, which can still be done. However, there are two (2) other methods available: a recommendation of the president and an automatic annual adjustment procedure and a commission process. [Note: Congress can vote to reject the automatic raise.] (For more detailed information, please see the Congressional Research Service report on Congressional Salaries.) The U.S. Code Title II, chapter 3 covers the details of how and when the members of Congress receive their salaries. The “pay period” for a new member begins after that member is sworn in. The Constitution sets this day of January 3rd, though though Congress can vary the date. Members who are leaving Congress stop getting their salaries on that day. Members who have served long enough may be eligible for a retirement plan when they leave office, but otherwise they receive no further compensation.

Since January 2009, Senators and Representatives receive $174,000 per year. Certain positions have higher rates. The Speaker of the House is $223,500 and the president pro tempore of the Senate (the Vice President of the United States) earns $193,400. The majority and minority leaders in both the House and the Senate also earn $193,400.

Since 1990 the base salary for a member has increased from $98,400 to the current $174,000, an increase of $69,600, or 76.83%. Following is the annual salary change since 1990:

 

February 1, 1990 $   98,400

1991         $ 101,900 (3.56% increase)

August 15, 1991 $ 125,100 (22.77% increase)

1992         $ 129,500 (3.52% increase)

1993         $ 133,600 (3.17% increase)

1994         No Raise

1995         No Raise

1996         No Raise

1997         No Raise

1998         $ 136,673 (2.32% increase)

1999         No Raise

2000                 $ 141,300 (3.37% increase)

2002         $ 150,000 (9.75% increase)

2003         $ 154,700 (3.13% increase)

2004         $ 158,100 (2.20% increase)

2005         $ 162,100 (2.53% increase)

2006                         $ 165,200 (1.91% increase)

2007                         $ 168,000 (1.69% increase)

2008                         $ 169,300 (.77% increase)

2009                         $ 174,000 (2.78% increase)

 

 

 

 

 

 

© The Issue Wonk, 2017 

 

 

 

 

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