‘Members’ of Congress pocketed greater than $813K — although they had been by no means sworn in
Members of Congress collected greater than $800,000 in wage in the course of the chamber’s protracted speaker battle — all through a interval as soon as they technically weren’t members.
The pols formally become members of Congress — forsaking the title of Rep.-Elect — when they’re sworn in by the Speaker of the House. The event usually takes place on Jan. 3, the Constitutionally mandated start of each new Congress.
Even re-elected incumbents must be sworn once more in every two years for his or her “member” standing to be current.
But consequently of Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) didn’t clinch the votes to become Speaker until the early morning hours of Jan. 7 — a delay not seen since earlier than the Civil War — members of Congress swiped 4 days of price earlier than they had been actually sworn-in as members.
During their 4 days as representatives-elect from Jan. 3-7, they made about $1,870 each in wage — or $813,867 as a physique.
The money will be included of their common pay, which comes on the end of the month, as long as they’ve filed their credentials with the House clerk.
Almost all members of Congress earn $174,000 per 12 months. Party leaders take dwelling $193,400, whereas Speaker McCarthy will make $223,500.
During their marathon Speaker votes, members-elect amused themselves in diverse strategies. Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.) caught up on some finding out, whereas Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) be taught the humorous pages. Rep. Linda Sanchez carried out video video games on her Tablet. Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) launched alongside her canine Libby. As well-compensated tensions bought right here to a boil, GOP virtually bought right here to blows.
New York Democratic Rep. Ritchie Torres defended his wage. While he wanted to spend his days idling on the bottom — repeatedly voting for his social gathering’s chief Hakeem Jeffries, Torres insisted his office “continued to function like business as usual and continued to provide constituent services.”
Torres, a die-hard progressive with an unbiased streak, is preparing a model new bill to take care of the issue. The “Swear In Representatives Elect Now Act’’ or “SIREN Act” would enable the Clerk of the House to handle the oath of office to members. The bill, like his “SANTOS Act” — making it a prison offense for members to lie about their background — has little likelihood of passing the Republican-controlled chamber.
“If there had been an emergency during the dysfunctional speaker vote, congress would have been unable to respond,” Torres talked about. “The paralysis of Congress in the absence of a Speaker is a dangerous deficiency in our system.”