How Much Do Senators Make? Average Salary Information
How much do Senators make? What's the average salary of a Senator? The United States Congress has the crucial task of representing the people of the United States. The legislative branch of the United States shares authority with the executive and judicial branches. The two divisions of Congress are the House of Representatives, which has congressman and congresswomen, and the Senate, which has senators.
A senator attends meetings and congresses, participates in debates about the development and updating of laws and regulations, and votes for or against specific political proposals or motions. A senator is nominated and elected to parliament as a representative of the people who protects and promotes their interests in open, democratic countries. His or her function is critical to the powerful task of verifying, certifying, and balancing the proposals and changes made by the Deputies' House, Parliament's lower chamber.
What is a senator?
A senator is a person who is chosen by the people of a region or other geographical area to serve in the central legislative body of a state (typically the upper, more prominent chamber of Parliament) and performs this governing mandate for a certain period of time. The word "senator" comes from Ancient Rome, where the Senate was referred to as the "elders' assembly" ("senex" means "old").
A senatorial career generally entails a long-term dedication to public service as well as political party involvement. A senator must be in touch with the electorate's concerns and issues at all times. Lobby groups and non-governmental organizations frequently enable this relationship by advocating for specific issues, such as limiting citizens' access to firearms, safeguarding the natural environment, and other themes related to sustainable development.
Primary duties of Congress members
Congress is the legislative branch of the federal government in charge of representing the American people. It is the only legislative branch in the United States that is elected directly by the people.
The major responsibilities of Congress, which consists of both congressman and senators, are as follows:
- Creating legislation.
- Handling declaration of war.
- Federal officers are being impeached and tried.
- Keeping track of public funds.
- Approval of presidential nominations.
- Approving executive branch-negotiated treaties.
- Investigations and monitoring by the government.
Roles in the House
The House and the Senate both share comparable responsibilities. One significant distinction is that the House is in charge of introducing revenue legislation. The speaker of the House is in charge of informing both Washington authorities and the general public about legislative activities. The speaker serves as the House's spokesperson for the majority party. In addition to managing House discussion, the speaker is in charge of the House's finances and procurement.
Roles in the Senate
The Senate is in charge of approving presidential nominees and ratifying treaties. If the vice president is not present, the president pro tempore of the Senate is in charge of presiding over the Senate. They have the authority to sign legislation and administer oaths of office to incoming senators.
How to become a senator
Here's how to become a senator.
High school education
Aspiring senators can set the groundwork for their chosen profession by reading the news and forming their political opinions long before they enter it.
- Keep an eye on the news, particularly coverage of political events.
- Gather information from a number of sources, including newspapers, television stations, and websites, including those whose editorials you disagree with.
- Consider each person's political viewpoint critically.
- Participate in debates with people of various political ideologies.
- Investigate the specifics of topics to see which ones you are most passionate about.
- Become a candidate for student government.
Formal post-secondary education is not technically required to become a senator. However, getting elected without at least a Bachelor's degree is exceedingly difficult, and the majority of current senators have a Master's. Only one of the hundred members of the United States Senate had completed high school in 2014.
Political science and legal degrees are, unsurprisingly, the most frequent among prospective senators. In 2014, fifty-seven senators out of a total of one hundred had a law degree.
Many senators advise getting involved in local politics before running for the Senate. Coming up through the seats is what it's called. There are numerous methods to be ready to run for a Senate seat in the future:
Participate in political gatherings.
Find out when the municipal council or local branches of political parties hold public or party member meetings. These occurrences have the potential to tell a great deal about the political process.
Participate in local politics.
Work with a political party's local branch as a volunteer. Participate in a polling booth as a volunteer. Investigate local concerns. Inquire with non-profit groups about other possible volunteer possibilities.
Contact as many people as you can.
To run for office, you'll need a lot of support from a lot of different individuals. Begin by talking to family, friends, and coworkers, but also reach out to local voters and groups.
Learn how to run a campaign.
Learn about the electoral process by working on a candidate's campaign.
Run for a position in the local government.
Candidate for a position on a committee, assembly, or school board, as well as mayor or local congressman. Future senators will be able to witness how government procedures function on a communal or civic level as a result of this type of exposure. It allows you to acquire contacts, build a track record, and generate a favorable reputation and important credentials. Before attempting to get elected to the Senate, consider running for higher offices such as state lawmaker or governor.
Keep an eye on the Senate's objectives.
Aspiring senators should focus on what they want to do in the Senate rather than what they believe they need to say to get there. It's critical to cultivate a loyal following.
Aspiring senators in the United States must meet three requirements:
- They must be thirty years old or older.
- Before standing for the Senate, they must have lived in the United States for at least nine years.
- They must be residents of the state they wish to represent.
Senators must also comply with state registration laws (which generally include registration with a political party and ability to vote), pay their taxes on time, and pass a criminal background check in addition to these constitutional requirements.
Party and voter support
Obtaining the backing of party politicians, referred to as the "party machine," may go a long way toward assisting a senatorial candidate in running for office and being elected.
To be on the ballot, a senatorial candidate must collect a certain number of signatures from registered party voters. They must also submit their candidacy with the Secretary of State in their respective state.
Campaign committee and fundraising
A senatorial candidate must form a campaign committee. Appointing a campaign manager, employing public relations, communications, and advertising personnel, and hiring a fundraising manager are all part of this process.
A senatorial campaign's fundraising manager is probably the most essential member of staff. He or she must be up to speed on local campaign financing rules and follow them. There may be a restriction on how much any candidate may spend under these laws.
Getting elected to the Senate is costly, thus raising more funds allows for more advertising to be paid in order to increase name recognition among voters.
Election versus appointment
Senators in the United States are elected for a six-year term. A senator's seat must be replaced if he or she dies or leaves office in the middle of a term. The Governor of several US states selects a temporary senator who serves until the following general election.
In some places, the interim appointment only lasts a few weeks or months before a special election, or the seat stays empty until the next general election.
Average annual salary of a senator
Because they have greater duties, congressional leaders earn more. The Speaker of the House of Representatives is paid $223,500 a year, while the Senate President pro tempore is paid $193,400. Both chambers' Majority and Minority Leaders each get $193,400.
The wages of members are determined by law. Members of Congress have been eligible for yearly cost-of-living increases since 1975, and the Ethics Reform Act of 1989 changed the system even further and created the present criteria.
Members of Congress who were elected after 1984 also contribute to the Federal Employees Retirement System and are covered by it (FERS). They become vested after five years of full engagement.
Expenses, taxes, and benefits
Senators also get a stipend that covers items like office expenditures, personnel, mail, and the cost of renting a district office. Each member earned $944,671 in staff funding in 2017.
Because of a variety of factors, including the distance between the senator's home office and the Capitol, the amount they get for official office expenses, district office rental, and mail differs across members.
Members can deduct up to $3,000 in living expenses when away from their congressional districts or home states for income tax purposes.
Retirement benefits, health benefits program
Although some senators who entered Congress prior to 2003 may be protected under the previous Civil Service Retirement System, the majority of senators get their retirement benefits through the Federal Employees' Retirement System.
A senator who participates in this plan has access to both a tax-advantaged retirement plan and an annuity-based pension.
Senators are also eligible for other perks, including as health insurance via the Affordable Care Act.
Do members of Congress contribute to the Social Security system?
Since 1984, every member of Congress has contributed to Social Security. They are entitled to the same Social Security payments as the rest of the group. Members of Congress who were elected after 1984 also contribute to the Federal Employees Retirement System and are covered by it (FERS).
Disclosure of income
Could congress change it's pay?
First, Congress could simply change its salary by passing a legislation. The last time this was done, according to the Congressional Research Service, was in 1991, over 30 years ago. A Citizens' Commission on Public Service was also established under the 1989 Ethics Reform Act, which would make salary recommendations to the President, who would then make recommendations to Congress.
Members' and selected congressional officers' and officials' compensation
- Speaker of the House: $223,500 per year.
- Majority and Minority Leaders: $193,400 per year.
- All other Representatives (including Delegates and Resident Commissioner From Puerto Rico): $174,000 per year.
- Chief Administrative Officer: $172,500 per year.
- Clerk of the House: $172,500 per year.
- Sergeant at Arms: $172,500 per year.
- Chaplain: $172,500 per year.
- Legislative Counsel: $172,500 per year.
- Law Revision Counsel: $172,500 per year.
- Parliamentarian: $172,500 per year.
- Inspector General: $172,500 per year.
- Director, Interparliamentary Affairs: $172,500 per year.
- General Counsel to the House: $172,500 per year.
Our favorite resources are included below.
Job interview resources
- Common Interview Questions by Marquette University
- Prepare for Behavioral Interview Questions by Marquette University
- Preparing for Job Interviews by the University of Kansas
- Mock Interview Handbook by CSUCI
- Interview Guidebook by Lebanon Valley College
Resume and cover letter resources
- Writing a Resume and Cover Letter by USC
- Resume Writing Tips by the University of Wisconsin-Madison
- Resume and Cover Letter Guide by Harvard University
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