The topic of discussion for this Constitution Monday comes from Article I.6.1: “The compensation of Senators and Representatives shall be fixed by law and paid out of the treasury of the United States.” Members of Congress have the right to be paid for their services from the general treasury of the United States.
According to W. Cleon Skousen in The Making of America, the salary for both Senators and Representatives was $6.00 per day in 1789. By 1815 they were being paid $1,500.00 per year. This amount increased gradually until there was a jump from $45,000.00 per year in 1975 to $162,100 per year in 2006.
There is some concern about the fact that Congressmen are empowered to fix their own salaries. It seems to happen that whenever Congressmen vote themselves a raise in salary, they find their political careers at risk.
The salary and benefit packages for Congressmen include salaries, liberal retirement, special government life insurance, special government health insurance, opportunities for federal jobs with high salaries, special tax deductions, travel allowance, funds to hire staff and assistants, free medical care at the Capitol, offices in Washington, D. C. and in key cities at home, and free mailing privileges for official mail.
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