House Statement of Disbursements and Senate Statement of Receipts and Expenditures

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*Government Printing Office -- hardcopy or microform available for purchase from GPO, entitled "Report of the Secretary of the Senate, From April 1, 2009 to September 1, 2009" (Senate Document 111-8)  
 
*Government Printing Office -- hardcopy or microform available for purchase from GPO, entitled "Report of the Secretary of the Senate, From April 1, 2009 to September 1, 2009" (Senate Document 111-8)  
 
*The Senate is planning the digital release of expenses in PDF format starting in November. - See "[http://sunlightfoundation.com/blog/2011/04/19/senate-expenses-to-be-pdfd/ Senate Expenses to be PDF'd]"  - written by John Wonderlich at the Sunlight Foundation. April 19, 2011.
 
*The Senate is planning the digital release of expenses in PDF format starting in November. - See "[http://sunlightfoundation.com/blog/2011/04/19/senate-expenses-to-be-pdfd/ Senate Expenses to be PDF'd]"  - written by John Wonderlich at the Sunlight Foundation. April 19, 2011.
 +
* Senate Finally Publishes Its Spending Online, But Could Do Much Better, [http://sunlightfoundation.com/blog/2011/11/30/senate-finally-publishes-its-spending-online-but-could-do-much-better/ November 3, 2011]
  
 
== Legislative Authorization  ==
 
== Legislative Authorization  ==
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== Possible Types of Disbursement Stories  ==
 
== Possible Types of Disbursement Stories  ==
  
=== Introduction ===
+
=== Introduction ===
  
The following is a list of subject matter on which disbursement data-driven stories could be told. A contextualization of some of these items can lead to greater understanding of the workings of congress; other can be confusing or misleading.
+
The following is a list of subject matter on which disbursement data-driven stories could be told. A contextualization of some of these items can lead to greater understanding of the workings of congress; other can be confusing or misleading.  
  
=== Types of Stories ===
+
=== ===
  
1. Congressional Staff
+
=== Types of Stories  ===
  
(a) Comparisons of staff pay  
+
Congressional Staff<br>(a) Comparisons of pay:<br> by title<br>
  
*by title
+
*[http://www.wsbtv.com/news/25949135/detail.html Congress Staffers get Raise in Bad Economy] WSBTV, 2010
*by gender
+
*[http://www.theopenhouseproject.com/2009/12/02/whats-the-average-salary-of-house-staff/ What's the Average Staff Pay] OpenHouse Project, 2009
*against the private sector
+
  
(b) retention rates
+
by gender<br>
  
(c) which staff are connected to which members
+
*[http://www.legistorm.com/blog/obama-s-alleged-pay-gap.html Obama’s alleged pay gap] LegiStorm blog, 2008
  
(d) revolving door (staffer --&gt; lobbyist; lobbyist -- &gt; staffer)
+
against private sector<br>
  
(e) multiple payments (i.e. from campaign and from congressional office)
+
*[http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1210/46681.html Staff pay frozen in time] Politico, 2010
  
(f) end of year bonuses? overtime?
+
(b) Retention rates <br>
  
(g) member retirement bonuses to staff
+
*[http://thehill.com/homenews/news/14752-rep-bachmanns-office-has-high-turnover-rate High office turnover rate] The Hill, 2008
  
(h) end-of-year procurement
+
(c) Which staff are connected to which members<br> (d) Revolving door (staffer to lobbyist; lobbyist to staffer)  
  
(i) hiring family members, friends, campaign staff, lobbyist relations<br>  
+
*[http://www.opensecrets.org/news/2011/07/from-hired-guns-to-hired-hands.html From Hired Guns to hired hands] Center for Responsive Politics, 2011
 +
*[http://www.theopenhouseproject.com/2009/12/07/are-house-staff-salaries-set-to-avoid-the-post-employment-lobbying-ban/ Staff salaries set to avoid lobbying ban?] Open House Project, 2009
 +
*[http://thehill.com/business-a-lobbying/168709-lobbyists-took-100k-cut-in-pay-to-work-on-the-hill Lobbyists Take Pay Cut] The Hill, 2011 <br>
  
(j) which staff are connected to other staff
+
(e) Multiple Payments (campaigns, etc) <br>
  
(k) who is considered a senior staff who must file additional disclosure forms
+
*[http://www.politico.com/blogs/onmedia/0611/Reids_top_aide_got_12M_from_Comcast.html Aide gets millions from Comcast] Politico, 2011
 +
*[http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0810/40870.html Staffers Moonlight for cash] Politico, 2010 <br>
  
<br>  
+
(f) End of year bonuses? Overtime?<br>  
  
2. Office expenses
+
*[http://www.stamfordadvocate.com/local/article/Himes-staffers-top-Connecticut-congressional-1420285.php Staffer Bonus Pay] Stamford Advocate, 2011
 +
*[http://thehill.com/opinion/op-ed/7392-for-staff-bonuses-no-dollar-left-behind No Dollar Left Behind] The Hill, 2007 <br>
  
(a) compare travel costs
+
(g) Member retirement bonuses to staff<br>
  
(b) travel boondoggles -- vacations
+
*[http://www.legistorm.com/blog/for-some-departing-members-final-two-days-were-for-splurging.html Final days for splurging] Legistorm 2011
  
(c) compare mail (USPS vs. FedEx vs. UPS)  
+
(h) end-of-year procurement<br>
  
(d) cell phone usage
+
*[http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703362804576184903976465110.html?mod=WSJ_hp_MIDDLENexttoWhatsNewsTop Payday for some staffers] WSJ, 2011
  
(e) inappropriate expenses (overcharges, bogus charges, cheaper sourced products)
+
(i) hiring family members, friends, campaign staff, lobbyist relations
  
(f) political liability expenses
+
*[http://www.legistorm.com/blog/florida-lawmakers-spend-on-luxury-girlfriend.html Lawmaker Spends on Girlfriend Legistorm], 2010
 +
*[http://www.legistorm.com/blog/records-help-flesh-out-details-on-baucus-relationship-with-staffer.html Records flesh out detail about Baucus’ relationship with staffer] Legistorm, 2009
 +
*[http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1210/46211.html John Boehner adds lobbyist to staff] Politico, 2010
  
*Pelosi's flowers  
+
(j) which staff are connected to other staff<br>(k) who is considered a senior staff who must file additional disclosure forms
*Bottled water
+
 
 +
<br>
 +
 
 +
Office expenses<br>(a) Compare travel costs
 +
 
 +
*[http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124650399438184235.html#mod=rss_Politics_And_Policy Congress’ Travel Tab Swells] WSJ, 2009
 +
*[http://projects.publicintegrity.org/powertrips/report.aspx?aid=248 Who are the top travelers?] Center for Public Integrity, 2006
 +
 
 +
(b) Travel boondoggles
 +
 
 +
*[http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0311/50957.html Senator returns money for chartered flights] Politico, 2011
 +
*[http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124657931514989505.html Travel Reports Understand Cost] WSJ, 2009
 +
*[http://online.wsj.com/article/SB126092430041092995.html Congress Travels, Public Pays] WSJ, 2009
 +
 
 +
(c) compare mail (USPS vs. FedEx vs. UPS)<br>(d) cell phone usage<br>(e) inappropriate expenses (overcharges, bogus charges, cheaper sourced products)<br>(f) political liability expenses
 +
 
 +
*[http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1109/30013.html Pelosi's flowers] Politico, 2009
 +
*[http://thehill.com/homenews/house/142901-congresss-860000-tab-on-bottled-water-targeted-as-wasteful-spending Bottled water] The Hill, 2011
 +
*[http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0611/56474.html Republican freshman spending] Politico, 2011
  
 
(g) look at where bulk/ percentage of offices expenses go  
 
(g) look at where bulk/ percentage of offices expenses go  
  
(h) expenses for transportation (e.g. car leases, purchases)
+
*[http://blog.chron.com/txpotomac/2011/03/study-michael-mccaul-biggest-office-spender-in-houston-delegation-kevin-brady-the-most-frugal/ Individual Member Office Expenses] chron.com, 2010 <br>
  
(i) buy american  
+
(h) expenses for transportation (e.g. car leases, purchases)<br>
 +
 
 +
*[http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/135095-rep-conyers-reimburses-government-for-sons-use-of-official-car Congressman pays government back after story about car lease] The Hill, 2010
 +
 
 +
(i) Buy american <br>
 +
 
 +
*[http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/139203-sen-sanders-calls-for-gift-shop-statues-to-be-american-made Senator Demands gift shop flags be made in America] The Hill, 2011
  
 
<br>  
 
<br>  
  
3. Other stories  
+
Other stories<br>(a) leadership expense funds
  
(a) leadership expense funds&nbsp;
+
*[http://www.rollcall.com/issues/56_96/-204112-1.html Leadership expense funds not being cut] Roll Call, 2011
 +
*[http://www.rollcall.com/issues/56_135/John-Boehner-Expense-Checks-206264-1.html?zkMobileView=true Speaker’s Monthly Tab] Roll Call, 2011
  
(b) former speakers allocation (see&nbsp;http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2010-02-17/news/ct-met-use-this-hastert-0218-20100217_1_perk-office-and-staff-million)
+
(b) former speakers allocation <br>
  
<br>
+
*[http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2010-02-17/news/ct-met-use-this-hastert-0218-20100217_1_perk-office-and-staff-million Former Speaker Haster’s perk costs taxpayers $1 million] Chicago Tribune, 2010
  
4. Transformative uses  
+
<br>Transformative uses<br>(a) house staff directory<br>
  
(a) house staff directory
+
*[http://staffers.sunlightfoundation.com/ House Staff Directory] Sunlight Foundation

Latest revision as of 18:22, November 30, 2011

Contents

Introduction

For years the House has published quarterly statements and Senate has published semiannual statements that report internal statements. Only recently have the House statements been made available online, albeit in an abbreviated format, and the Senate reports are expected to be published online in 2011. The following provides background and resources regarding these publications.

House Statement of Disbursements

Primary Sources for Disbursements

Authorization from the Speaker of the House of Representatives

The rules regarding the publication of House and Senate Expenditure reports is detailed in 2 USC 104a. (link)

Related News Stories

Senate Statement of Receipts and Expenditures

Primary Sources for Statement of Receipts and Expenditures

  • Government Printing Office -- hardcopy or microform available for purchase from GPO, entitled "Report of the Secretary of the Senate, From April 1, 2009 to September 1, 2009" (Senate Document 111-8)
  • The Senate is planning the digital release of expenses in PDF format starting in November. - See "Senate Expenses to be PDF'd"  - written by John Wonderlich at the Sunlight Foundation. April 19, 2011.
  • Senate Finally Publishes Its Spending Online, But Could Do Much Better, November 3, 2011

Legislative Authorization

The rules regarding the publication of House and Senate Expenditure reports is detailed in 2 USC 104a. (link)

The Legislative Appropriations Act for FY 2010 (http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c111:hr2918.enr: link--search for "reporting requirement"]) added paragraph 6, requiring the Clerk of the Senate to publish online a searchable, itemized expenditure report. It says, in full:

REPORTING REQUIREMENT Sec. 2. Section 105(a) of the Legislative Branch Appropriations Act 1965 (Public Law 88-454; 2 U.S.C. 104a) is amended-- (1) in the last sentence of paragraph (1), by striking `shall' and inserting `may'; and  (2) by adding at the end the following: `(6) Beginning with the report covering the first full semiannual period of the 112th Congress, the Secretary of the Senate-- ` (1) shall publicly post on-line on the website of the Senate each report in a searchable, itemized format as required under this section; `(2) shall issue each report required under this section in electronic form; and `(3) may issue each report required under this section in other forms at the discretion of the Secretary of the Senate.'.

Possible Types of Disbursement Stories

Introduction

The following is a list of subject matter on which disbursement data-driven stories could be told. A contextualization of some of these items can lead to greater understanding of the workings of congress; other can be confusing or misleading.

Types of Stories

Congressional Staff
(a) Comparisons of pay:
by title

by gender

against private sector

(b) Retention rates

(c) Which staff are connected to which members
(d) Revolving door (staffer to lobbyist; lobbyist to staffer)

(e) Multiple Payments (campaigns, etc)

(f) End of year bonuses? Overtime?

(g) Member retirement bonuses to staff

(h) end-of-year procurement

(i) hiring family members, friends, campaign staff, lobbyist relations

(j) which staff are connected to other staff
(k) who is considered a senior staff who must file additional disclosure forms


Office expenses
(a) Compare travel costs

(b) Travel boondoggles

(c) compare mail (USPS vs. FedEx vs. UPS)
(d) cell phone usage
(e) inappropriate expenses (overcharges, bogus charges, cheaper sourced products)
(f) political liability expenses

(g) look at where bulk/ percentage of offices expenses go

(h) expenses for transportation (e.g. car leases, purchases)

(i) Buy american


Other stories
(a) leadership expense funds

(b) former speakers allocation


Transformative uses
(a) house staff directory

Toolbox