MayorGalvan @MayorGalvan713 I Just left another one of my daily poor man’s press releases to KTRH 740AM (281) 214-0440
Congressmen Rake In $608 an Hour
The U.S. House will be in session for only eight days during a 102-day span between August 1 and November 12, which means that based on their $174,000 annual salary, lawmakers will earn $608 an hour during those days in the nation’s capital.
That figure was calculated by liberal activist Ralph Nader, assuming 10-hour workdays. He sent a letter to Speaker John Boehner on Monday, writing: “While millions of Americans are working more and more for less and less, you and your House of Representatives seem to have no problem working less and less for more and more.”
The House took a five-week vacation from Washington on August 1 and returned on September 8. After two four-day workweeks, members left Washington again on September 18 and are not due to return until November 12 for a lame-duck session following the midterm elections.
Their hourly wage for the eight days is several times the hourly compensation of anesthesiologists, one of the country’s highest-paid professions at an average of $113 an hour, The Hill reported.
The Senate took the same break in August and also worked just two weeks in September before leaving to campaign for the elections.
Legislators and their aides argue that time spent in Washington constitutes only part of their job, and they also spend considerable time meeting with and serving constituents in their home districts and states, The Hill noted.
But Nader said in an interview: “You are paid by the taxpayer to work in Congress at least a 40-hour week. If you want to do anything back home after that, that’s discretionary time. They don’t pay you to campaign for your re-election.”
Even when they are in Washington, lawmakers devote much time to non-legislative matters. After the 2012 elections, new members of Congress were reportedly advised to set aside four hours a day for fundraising phone calls during their 10-hour workday.
Nader’s letter comes in the wake of a Gallup poll showing that in August just 13 percent of Americans approved of the way Congress is handling its job, while 83 percent disapproved — and 53 percent said they “strongly disapprove.”
The last time Congress’ approval rating was over 50 percent in a Gallup poll was in April 2003, at 58 percent, during President George W. Bush’s first term.
The approval rating stood at 84 percent in October 2001, immediately following the 9/11 attacks.