The current salary (2010) for rank-and-file members of the House and Senate is $174,000 per year.
- Members are free to turn down pay increase and some choose to do so.
- In a complex system (What isn't in Washington these days? of calculations, administered by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, congressional pay rates also affect the salaries for federal judges and other senior government executives.
- During the Constitutional Convention, Benjamin Franklin considered proposing that elected government officials not be paid for their service. Other Founding Fathers, however, decided otherwise. (Too our shame, at least in regards to the OVER PAY they get now!)
- From 1789 to 1855, members of Congress received only a per diem (daily payment) of $6.00 while in session, except for a period from December 1815 to March 1817, when they received $1,500 a year.
- Members began receiving an annual salary in 1855, when they were paid $3,000 per year.
Leaders of the House and Senate are paid a higher salary than rank-and-file members.
Majority Party Leader - $193,400
Minority Party Leader - $193,400
Speaker of the House - $223,500
Majority Leader - $193,400
Minority Leader - $193,400