Here's How Much Your Congressman Makes

Here's How Much Your Congressman Makes

Jennifer Hunter
Sep 12, 2015
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

When you vote for your elected officials, it's easy forget that the seats in Congress and the House of Representatives are actually salaried positions. We're pretty sure that running for office is much more involved than any round of job interviews we've ever experienced, so what's the monetary reward? We found out.

It all pays out like this:

President —$400,000 (plus free room and board!)

First Lady —$10,000

• This amount doesn't come from taxpayers, but rather from the Henry G. Freeman Jr Pin Money Fund. The fund was established in 1912 by the wealthy Philadelphia landowner in his will. "Pin money" refers to a wife's allowance from her husband. Every first lady since Barbara Bush has received it; however Michelle Obama hasn't gotten a payday since 2010 due to a Philadelphia "Rule Against Perpetuities."

Vice President —$230,700

Speaker of the House — $223,500

Majority and Minority Party Leader — $193,400

Rank-and-File (this just means the regular elected members of the House of Representatives and the Senate) — $174,000

And, by the way, despite rumors, these government employees do pay Social Security tax; since 1983.

It should be noted that, even after the Presidential salary was doubled in 2001 from $200,000, Obama's is still making significantly less than previous presidents. Adjusted for inflation, historical salaries range from $245,000 for George Washington in 1789, to $678,000 for Ulysses S. Grant in 1873, to $1,360,000 for William Howard Taft in 1909 and $900,000 for Nixon in 1969.

Check out this Slate article for a more in-depth discussion.

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