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NJ Representatives in DC Spend Millions on Staff, Travel, Other Expenses

Two U.S. senators spent over $6 million last year; 13 members of House ran up $15 million tab

By Colleen O'Dea, NJ Spotlight

Day 14 of a federal government shutdown seems like a good time to look at what New Jersey’s Congressmen spend to support their offices.

In 2012, data show, the state’s 13 members of the House spent more than $15 million on staff, office space, mailings, travel for themselves and staff and other expenses, while the two U.S. senators spent nearly $6.5 million.

Members of the House of Representatives and Senate continue to be paid their annual $174,000 salary during the shutdown, although many of their staffers are among a reported 700,000-800,000 federal workers who were furloughed or remain out of work. According to the Washington Post, six members – Republican Reps. Frank LoBiondo, Jon Runyan, Scott Garrett, Leonard Lance and Rodney Frelinghuysen and Democrat Bill Pascrell – have said they would forgo any salary earned during the shutdown, while Rep. Donald M. Payne Jr. said he needs his salary to support his family.

In addition to salary, members get a host of other perquisites, including a special tax deduction, health and life insurance and a retirement plan. They also get money for staff and office expenses, distributed differently in each house.

According to the Congressional Research Service, senators’ Official Personnel and Office Expense Accounts vary based on state population, distance to Washington and limits authorized by committees. 

Read more at NJSpotlight.com

NJ Spotlight is an issue-driven news website that provides critical insight to New Jersey’s communities and businesses. It is non-partisan, independent, policy-centered and community-minded.

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