Members of Congress Are Paid Pretty Well For Having 20% Approval
It's Election Day when millions of Americans will go to the polls to cast their ballot, albeit perhaps with optimism and pessimism about what the future holds.
States send two individuals to the U.S. Senate. However, the House of Representatives is based on its population.
The law limits voting representatives in the House to no more than 435 lawmakers. They are proportionally representing the population of the 50 states. Based on the 2020 United States census, each member of Congress represents 761,179 people.
Iowa has four Congressional Districts, Illinois 18, and Wisconsin eight.
Overall, the approval of Congress is dismal. According to an August Gallup poll, public opinion had just 22% approval. This was up from 16% approval in June.
Candidates spend much time, energy, and money to win one seat in Congress despite the lack of public appreciation and what it costs to win. Unfortunately for the candidates, inflation has also increased the cost of winning an election to the House and Senate.
For example, in 1990, the average winning senate campaign spent $3.87 million; in 2020, it was $27.16 million, and it's sure to be much more than that in 2022. Under any circumstances, that's a lot of fundraising calls and rubber chicken dinners.
Yet, representatives can accumulate significant wealth once in office. According to OpenSecrets.org, with the latest available numbers, the wealthiest member of the Senate is Mark Warner (D-Va), with a net worth of $214,092,575. Meanwhile, the poorest member of Congress is Alcee L Hastings (D-Fla), with a negative net worth of -$7,549,002. So it needs to be clarified how that debt is structured.
The dean of the Iowa delegation, Senator Chuck Grassley, ranks 20th in the U.S. Senate with an estimated net worth of $7,550,075 in 2018.
Have you ever considered how much a member of Congress or the U.S. Senate is paid?
And that's our Rodeo Really Tough Trivia Question on this Election Day - how much does a U.S. Congress and Senate member earn per year?
Most senators and representatives are paid an annual salary of $174,000. However, a leadership position makes additional pay. For example, the speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, makes $223,500. In contrast, the majority and minority leaders in the House and Senate make $193,400