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Commentary: Congress Gets ‘Huge’ Pay Raise Thanks to Reimbursements

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Commentary by Adam Andrzejewski originally published by RealClearInvestigations and RealClearWire

Thanks to a recent policy change in the U.S. House of Representatives, members of Congress will now be able to claim reimbursement for lodging, meals, and incidentals this year, which Capitol Hill reporters say amounts to a “huge pay raise.”

Bloomberg reported that under the new policy, Congress can now be reimbursed by taxpayers for expenses incurred when they are in Washington, D.C. on official business. Expenses like hotel rooms, meals, and apartments can be expensed at a per diem rate, which is still being determined.

This was a bipartisan change made under recommendation of the House Select Committee on Modernization of Congress, which cited the need for members to pay for two residences (in their home state and in D.C.), as well as per diem expensing that the executive branch, but not the legislative branch, enjoys. No member on the bipartisan committee opposed the policy.

Members of Congress receive a salary of $174,000, with members in leadership positions receiving slightly more. The last pay raise for members came in 2009, and there are not automatic cost of living adjustments.

The amount the new reimbursements will cost taxpayers depends on the exact per diem rates, which are still being worked out. The per diem rate for the executive branch is currently at $157, with $98 of that for lodging and $59 for meals and incidental expenses, according to the General Services Administration.

Whatever the rate is, the expenses will add up quickly for over 435 House members.

Congress’ current salary already puts them in the 92nd percentile of Americans based on income, and giving more to members that work four days a week is inappropriate, especially in a time of runaway spending and inflation.

Adam Andrzejewski – The #WasteOfTheDay is brought to you by the forensic auditors at

This article was originally published by RealClearInvestigations and made available via RealClearWire.

Deneen Borelli

Deneen Borelli is the author of Blacklash: How Obama and the Left are Driving Americans to the Government Plantation. Deneen is a contributor with Newsmax Broadcasting. She is a former Fox News contributor and has appeared regularly on “Hannity,” “Fox & Friends,” “Your World with Neil Cavuto,” and “America’s Newsroom.” She has also appeared on Fox Business Network programs “Making Money with Charles Payne,” “The Evening Edit with Liz MacDonald,” and “Cavuto: Coast to Coast.” Previously, Deneen appeared on MSNBC, CNN, the BBC and C-SPAN. In addition to television, Deneen co-hosted radio programs on the SiriusXM Patriot channel with her husband Tom. Recently, Deneen co-hosted the Reigniting Liberty podcast with Tom. Deneen is a frequent speaker at political events, including the FreedomWorks 9.12.2009 March on D.C. which drew a crowd estimated at over 800,000 people. Deneen is also an Ambassador with, a social media platform that promotes free speech, and with the America First Policy Institute (AFPI) which advances policies that put Americans first. Deneen testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources in May 2011 and before the Ohio House Public Utilities Committee in December 2011. Previously, Deneen was a host, Outreach Director with overseeing its outreach program, a Project 21 Senior Fellow, and Manager of Media Relations with the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE). Prior to joining CORE, Deneen worked at Philip Morris USA for 20 years. During her corporate career at Philip Morris she worked in various positions, her last as Project Management Coordinator in the Information Management department where she was responsible for the department’s mandated quality processes, communications, sales information and database management. Deneen began her Philip Morris career as a secretary and advanced to positions of increasing responsibilities. Deneen worked full-time and attended classes at night for 11 years to earn her B.A. in Managerial Marketing from Pace University, New York City. Deneen served on the Board of Trustees with The Opportunity Charter School in Harlem, New York. She appeared in educational videos for children, worked as a runway fashion model, and auditioned for television commercials. Her interests include ancient history, pistol target shooting, photography, and volunteering at her church. Deneen currently resides in Connecticut with her husband Tom.

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