Members of Congress get automatic pay raises, a full pension, free parking in many parking lots and garages throughout Washington, D.C., and a lucrative 401k plan. As of 2011, a congressman's salary sat at around $174,000 per year, and with benefits, that figure jumps to around $250,000 per year.Know More
In 2011, around 46 percent of members of United States Congress had a net worth of more than $1 million. Compare this to the fact that most of the U.S. makes $50,000 or less per year, and it causes people to be quite upset. In 2009, Congress voted to forgo its annual raise for 2 years and a bill was introduced that would cut each members salary by 5 percent. That wasn't the first time such a bill was introduced and bills like that never gain support from the members of Congress.
Taxpayers pay matching contributions to Congress members' 401k. Contributions to a Congressman's 401k carry a matching rate of 5 percent, which is more than most "normal" people make. As of 2011, company contributions to an employee's 401k occur at a rate of around 3 percent.
Politicians know how to play the system and this helps them keep many of their generous benefits. Politicians often manipulate news stories to make the American people feel good about themselves and the job Congress does. This shines politicians in a positive light, making it easier for people to turn a blind eye to the many benefits they receive in office.Learn more about Branches of Government
The seniority system in Congress grants privileges, such as choice of committee assignments or choice of office, to the members of congress who have served the longest. It is normally seen when deciding who is going to be a committee chairman. The longest-serving member of the committee gets the choice of becoming chairman first.Full Answer >
The U.S. Congress meets in the Capitol Building, which is in Washington, D.C. The building lies at the eastern edge of the National Mall and stands atop a small hill known as Capitol Hill.Full Answer >
Congress can check the president by overriding a presidential veto with a two-thirds majority vote, by confirming or rejecting cabinet members or other appointees the president has selected, and by subpoenaing as witnesses and holding in contempt people to whom the president has offered pardons. In addition, only Congress can initiate legislation, so if a president wants a bill passed, he must lobby Congress.Full Answer >
The powers denied to Congress are enumerated in Article 1, Section 9 of the Constitution of the United States. A key provision necessary for passing the original Constitution was a compromise between the free and slave states. In that section of the Constitution, Congress was prevented from interfering with the slave trade until at least 1808.Full Answer >