Legislative Branch Revolving Funds

Author: Ida A. Brudnick
Publisher: DIANE Publishing
ISBN: 9781437926590
Release Date: 2010-04

Legislative branch revolving funds support the '¿¿business-type activities'¿¿ of the House, Senate, and legislative branch agencies. The legislative branch currently has 26 revolving funds, including 7 funds for the House of Rep., 9 for the Senate, 5 for the Architect of the Capitol, 4 for the Library of Congress, and one for the Gov'¿¿t. Printing Office (GPO). As of the close of FY 2008, the funds range in size from $10,000 for the Senate Computer Center Fund to $216.5 million for the GPO revolving fund. In contrast, the legislative branch appropriation for FY 2010 was $4.65 billion. This report traces the establishment, use, and development of these funds. Also, the current status of funds is provided, using standard federal gov'¿¿t. budget object classifications. Illus.

Lobbying Registration and Disclosure

Author: Jacob R. Straus
Publisher: DIANE Publishing
ISBN: 9781437985917
Release Date: 2011-08

On September 14, 2007, President George W. Bush signed S. 1, the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007 (HLOGA), into law. This Act (HLOGA) amended the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 to provide, among other changes to federal law and House and Senate rules, additional and more frequent disclosure of lobbying contacts and activities. This report focuses on changes made to lobbying registration, termination, and disclosure requirements and provides analysis of the volume of registration, termination, and disclosure reports filed with the Clerk of the House of Rep. and the Secretary of the Senate before and after the HLOGA¿s passage. Charts and tables. This is a print on demand report.

Congressional Pay and Perks

Author: Ida Brudnick
Publisher: The Capitol Net Inc
ISBN: 9781587332159
Release Date: 2010-12-01
Genre: Political Science

Congress is required by Article I, Section 6, of the Constitution to determine its own pay. Prior to 1969, Congress did so by enacting stand-alone legislation. From 1789 through 1968, Congress raised its pay 22 times using this procedure. Members were initially paid per diem. The first annual salaries, in 1815, were $1,500. Per diem pay was reinstituted in 1817. Congress returned to annual salaries, at a rate of $3,000, in 1855. By 1968, pay had risen to $30,000. Stand-alone legislation may still be used to raise Member pay, as it was most recently in 1982, 1983, 1989, and 1991; but two other methods--including an automatic annual adjustment procedure and a commission process--are now also available. The Ethics Reform Act of 1989 established the current formula for automatic annual adjustments, which is based on changes in private sector wages and salaries as measured by the Employment Cost Index. The adjustment goes into effect automatically unless denied statutorily by Congress, although the percentage may not exceed the percentage base pay increase for General Schedule employees. Allowances are available to Representatives and Senators to support them in their official and representational duties as Members. These allowances cover official office expenses, staff, mail, and other goods and services. Despite significant reductions in congressional mail postage costs over the past 20 years, critics continue to raise concerns that the franking privilege is both financially wasteful and gives unfair advantages to incumbents in congressional elections. In particular, mass mailings have come under increased scrutiny as critics argue that the vast majority of franked mail is unsolicited and, in effect, publicly funded campaign literature. Members of Congress first elected in 1984 or later are covered automatically under the Federal Employees' Retirement System (FERS), unless they decline this coverage. Those who already were in Congress when Social Security coverage went into effect could either remain in CSRS or change their coverage to FERS. Members are now covered under one of four different retirement arrangements: CSRS and Social Security; The "CSRS Offset" plan, which includes both CSRS and Social Security, but with CSRS contributions and benefits reduced by Social Security contributions and benefits; FERS and Social Security; or Social Security alone. Congressional pensions, like those of other federal employees, are financed through a combination of employee and employer contributions. All Members pay Social Security payroll taxes equal to 6.2% of the Social Security taxable wage base ($102,000 in 2008 and $106,800 in 2009). Members enrolled in FERS also pay 1.3% of full salary to the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund. In 2008, Members covered by CSRS Offset pay 1.8% of the first $102,000 of salary, and 8.0% of salary above this amount, into the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund. Under both CSRS and FERS, Members of Congress are eligible for a pension at age 62 if they have completed at least five years of service. Members are eligible for a pension at age 50 if they have completed 20 years of service, or at any age after completing 25 years of service. The amount of the pension depends on years of service and the average of the highest three years of salary. By law, the starting amount of a Member's retirement annuity may not exceed 80% of his or her final salary. After Members of the House leave office, they are afforded certain courtesies and privileges. Some are derived from House Rules, but many are courtesies that have been extended as a matter of custom. Former Representatives who become lobbyists have limited privileges. See full Table of Contents at https://www.thecapitol.net/Publications/GovernmentSeries/1657_CongressionalPayAndPerks.html