Cost Of Funding Congress Decreasing

AP Photo
AP Photo

The body tasked with funding the government is tightening its own belt a bit.

The controversial spending deal the 113th Congress passed before the end of the year also included a little over $2 billion in funding for the operation of the House and Senate.

According a USA Today report, Congress’ 2015 budget is 11 percent less than its 2010 operations budget. Back then the cost came in at $2.3 billion.

The report explains that the budget decrease is a reversal in trends from prior years, which saw the funding for congressional expenses increase 22 percent from 2006 to 2010.

In 2011 the spending course began to shift when Republicans took over the House and Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) pledged to reduce spending.

While both chambers will be receiving less money from the taxpayer, lawmakers for the most part will not be the ones feeling the pinch.

The USA Today report notes that members of Congress will still be receiving their $174,000 salary. Instead, it will be committee staff and support functions that will experience the cuts.

In the coming year, House office spending will be 16 percent less than 2010, and the overall budget will be 14 percent less. The Senate’s cuts are less aggressive but still there. USA Today reveals that next year’s budget will be about 7 percent less than 2012.

The report notes that support staff at the Capitol, such as the office of the Senate Sergeant at Arms which in 2010 had a 16 percent greater budget and 958 employees compared to about 892 in 2015, are among those experiencing the most cuts.

“We have used a variety of tools, including voluntary buyouts, job consolidations, strategic investments in more efficient technology and processes, and significant contract renegotiations to ensure we can continue to deliver the same high-quality support to the Senate that we always have,” Drew Willison, the Senate Sergeant at Arms told the newspaper.