Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Welcome to the 112th!

Earlier today, the 112th Congress was gaveled into session. (Political junkies rejoice!) Tommorrow, House Republicans will get the year started with a spirited reading of the Constitution. Reading the document should take about 30 minutes, but the Washington Post estimates that the event (including all formal House proceedings) should take about 2 hours. So aside from this being a long day on the Hill, it's an expensive one too? Vanity Fair estimates the reading of the Constitution will cost taxpayers about $1 tell.

VF Daily checked with Peter Keating, the co-author of “The Cost of No” and’s resident expert on Congressional wastefulness.

According to Keating:
The amount I get is nearly $1.1 million. $1,071,872.87, to be exact, though of course this is more back-of-the-envelope than exact.

When one chamber of Congress is in session but not working, we the people still have to pay for members’ salaries and expenses, and for their police protection, and for keeping their lights and phones and coffee machines on. Even Eric Cantor (R-VA) and Mike Pence (R-IN) combined don’t blow enough hot air to heat the Capitol in January.
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