Monday, 18 June 2007

How much does it cost to run Congress?

This week the House of Representatives will begin floor proceedings on the Legislative Branch Appropriations Bill. For Financial Year 2008 $4,330,451,000 has been requested - an increase of 14% from 2007. What would this be spent on?

The running of the Senate $869.3 million - mainly for the personnel and office expenses of individual Senators; and the salaries of officers and their employees.

House of Representatives - as for the Senate, but these costs amount to $1.2 billion

Architect of the Capitol - the costs of the maintenance, operation, development and preservation of the Capitol complex (which includes not only the main Capitol building but House & Senate Offices; the grounds; the buildings and grounds of the Library of Congress; Capitol power plant; Botanic Garden and the new Capitol Visitors Center are estimated at $481.7 million

Capitol Police - This department will the full time equivalent of 2,125 people. Staff and other costs will require $299.1 million.

Support agencies, which provide information and carry out key work for the Congress are asking for the following: -

Congressional Budget Office: $37.97 million

Library of Congress $661.6 million

(including $108.7 million for the Congressional Research Service)

Government Accountability Office $523.8 million

Government Printing Office $181.98 million

Office of Compliance $ 4.1 million

Open World Leadership Center $14.4 million

John B Stennis Center for Public Service Training & Development $430,000


steven.haywood said...
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steven.haywood said...

Great post!! Can you please list your source for this data. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

if usa is so in debt,how about cutting back to one congressman per state,and put them on flat rate if the country does not make money then they dont, then im sure you will see them working rather then not

J David Morgan said...

I'm not sure that it would work. It doesn't get the same headlines as the sensational scandals and the ludicrous earmarks - but day in, day out the committees are holding the Executive and Executive agencies to account. Using congressionally established bodies like the GAO and CBO; taking evidence from expert witnesses; and using the research skills in CRS - Members can (and do) investigate and stop the waste of Federal Money.

No one has ever said that Democracy comes cheaply. As Winston Churchill said in the House of Commons "Democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried." Decision makers are accountable to Congress - your representatives. If your own representative isn't doing a good job - you are free to remove him at the next election.

Constituency service of Members of Congress is very important. They have the power & prestige to break bureaucratic logjams - to put pressure on a bureaucratic organisation to stop being awkward and serving the individual constituent who has a complaint. It would be prejudicial to good government - and deny many a remedy if the House were cut to one member per state. Imagine one congressman receiving all the problems that his California constituents have.