House staff budgets for salaries went up 21% compared to last year in $1.5T spending bill
Staffers can earn more than their bosses and White House interns are now able to be paid for the first time
The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook
Congress passed a $1.5 trillion spending bill Thursday evening that increases House staff budgets for salaries and operations by 21%, compared to past year.
This increase is the largest since 1996 when the "Members Representational Allowance" was authorized, according to CNN.
The legislation appropriates $774.4 million for the MRA, which provides funding for House office budgets that cover lawmakers' staff salaries.
Staffers can earn up to $199,300, which is more than their bosses at $174,000.
According to Roll Call, the MRA funding increase "would allow those at the lower end of the pay scale, such as staff assistants, to be paid more" but "members would not receive a pay increase under the bill, a point of contention for years."
The legislation also provides millions to compensate Capitol Hill interns. In the private sector, many interns work for college credit rather than pay. The bill includes $18.2 million for House interns.
On the Senate side, the legislation provides $1.1 billion for salaries and operations and $7 million for interns.
The bill additional amount for interns is roughly $1 million more, compared to fiscal 2021, with an average of $70,000 to each senator’s office for the sole purpose of compensating interns," according to the Senate Appropriations Committee.
White House interns are also now able to get paid for the first time after passage of the large domestic spending bill.
The legislation also increased the U.S. Capitol Police budget by 14% with an $87 million cash infusion, up from $602 million the previous year.
The Internal Revenue Service will have more manpower as a result of the spending bill's passage. The agency received its largest funding increase in decades. The IRS budget went up $675 million to $12.6 billion, which is the largest jump since 2001. The agency plans to hire 10,000 workers to address backlogs and this year's tax filing season.
The 2,700-page spending bill passed the Congress less than 48 hours after it was introduced.
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