Our esteemed US House of Representatives is still on …vacation.
Their calendar is chock full of virtual meetings or web meetings that are typically scheduled four days a week at noon and consume 1 or 2 hours of their time – per designated Committee! In addition to each ‘Committee’ meeting virtually once or twice a week, Chairpersons apparently enjoy releasing statements periodically which typically are aimed at denouncing something-anything President Trump.. Most of these duly organized web meetings have topics that ‘discuss’ or assess’ or ‘review’ stuff, while a select few ‘demand’ – money.
There are 435 members of The House, each assigned an assistant, some are assigned press secretaries, schedulers, executive researchers, etc… and all continue to earn their full salaries and benefits despite not working for the last 3 ½ months. The average salary for Congressional members is $175,000 – $230,000, and staff earn approximately $50,000. Benefits include health insurance, stipends, expense allowances, and pensions.
Those tax dollars equate to $7,250,000 in Congressional salaries per month, roughly $4,350,000 in staffers, and unaccounted millions in allowances and insurance benefits. Pelosi’s expense allowance alone is well over $1million per year. If we estimate a total tab of roughly $15million per month, that would equate to having spent $52,500,000 so far to have Congress Not Work!
Today Pelosi announced that she still sees no way Congressional members can safely come back to work…it is just too scary!
Essentially, they have made themselves – nonessential – given President Trump is literally running the country alone. But they still see fit to complain and shrew, and demand and denounce all things Trump.
Defunding Police is trivial in comparison. On average, a Police Officer is paid roughly $53,000 per year or 26.5% of what a Congressional Member (dis)earns. While one of the duties of a Congressperson is to introduce Bills, the amount of meaningful reform is negligible. However, I would assert that a Bill introduced today by Republican Senator Tom Cotton makes perfect sense. Named, “Better Community Policing Recognition Act”,the Bill calls for the same sort of reward for productivity that most professional businesses offer – performance awards in the form of cash. Logical, rational – incentivized!
But the sludge docket of Bills is truly amazingly enormous!
To date there are 11,843 Bills and Resolutions that have been introduced by a Congressional committee that have received no action yet. 8 Bills have been vetoed, 21 Bills have failed, 560 Bills had a ‘significant vote’ in one chamber but have stalled, 546 ‘Resolutions’ have been passed, including; 1) the designation of June 19thas Juneteenth Day, 2) printing the senate Manual, 3) a resolution recognizing the 199thanniversary of Greek independence, 4) a resolution designating May 2020 as “Older Americans Month”… In other words, a bunch of resolutions that have absolutely no true worth – more like the Academy Awards 546 times. And 142 Bills enacted – most of which no one really gives a flying leap about.
Most of the Bills have little value other than providing a Congressional Member fodder for re-election by being able to state that they introduced x-number of Bills such as: National Historic Trail Study. Securing NGO’s Against Terrorism Act. Never Again Education Act. Pirate Act. And here is a doozy: To Rename The Oyster Bay National Wildlife Refuge As The Congressman Lester Wolff Oyster Bay National Wildlife Refuge…Etc…etc…etc. Whoa Cowboy – that was definitely worth an annual salary of $200,000.
Our Congressmen/woman hard at work! No other business would ever allow such slack performance at full pay – But most career Congresspersons have never held a ‘real’ job and are completely ignorant with regard to policies, procedures, and performance reviews. While most politicians regard re-election as a performance review, districts across the country have been redrawn so many times that there is really relatively little to no competition for a seat given left or right leaning means virtually 80% of the vote.
Certainly, term limits could help to weed Congress of those looking for a free ride, but the bloated sheer number of members is ridiculously nonessential. And giving 3 1/2 months of paid vacation in addition to the two months for Christmas and the coming August ‘out-of-session’ holiday means Congress will have more paid vacation days than work days in 2020!
How’s That Working’ For Ya?