Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Always been curious as to how much the Congressman and Senator's staffers are paid? According to LegiStorm, The pay figures for staff members from the House of Representatives' fourth quarter of 2008 are now available on LegiStorm, having been entered from the thick disbursement records released by the House of Representatives.

This data period is critical because it is the time when Santa Claus brings goodies to dedicated staff in the way of annual bonuses. Bonuses are not a universal perquisite on the Hill but they are a common way for members to reward staff who have merited them. This assumes that members have budgeted well and have sufficient funds available in their annual allotment, known as the Member's Representational Allowance.

The latest collection of salary data is a window into one of the fiercest fought elections in modern times. Elections can affect how congressional staffers are paid, both in legal and not-so-legal ways. For example, staff members often take leave to work on campaigns, whether their bosses' or those of others. The pay records can reflect those absences.And sometimes, staffers receive compensation from the campaigns but volunteers on a campaign usually vastly outnumber the paid staff. Therefore, campaign work is often a volunteer or grossly underpaid activity. Occasionally, members of Congress reward aides with bonuses, even if unconsciously, for their special dedication to the campaign. Since federal law prohibits the use of tax dollars to subsidize campaigns, such a use of bonuses would be improper.

Also controversial is the payment of large bonuses by members of Congress who are departing. With no more concern about getting re-elected, members can be quite generous with taxpayer money toward their staff.

To research your Congressman or Senator's staff salaries, click on http://www.legistorm.com/

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