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How Much Money Do the Members of Congress of the U.S. Make Per Year?

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When the United States Congress first convened in the late 18th century, a U.S. senator earned $6 a day. Salaries of both senators and representatives have increased steadily since then. The 535 members of the current Congress earn a sizable salary, although a few other federal officials are paid more. Certain senators and representatives are quite wealthy.

Senators' Salaries

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In 2011, a United States senator earned $174,000 per year. This rate was established in 2009 and was an increase from the prior salary of $169,300. In 2000, senators earned $141,300 per year.

Representatives' Salaries

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In 2011, members of the House of Representatives earned $174,000 per year, an amount identical to the salaries of the senators.

Leadership Salaries

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Select members of Congress in leadership positions earn more than the rank and file. In the Senate, the majority leader, minority leaders and the president pro tempore earn $193,400 per year. In the House, the majority and minority leaders similarly earn $193,400 per year, while the speaker of the house earns $223,500 per year.

Comparison to Other Branches

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The president of the United States is the highest-paid public official in federal government, earning a salary in 2011 of $400,000 a year. The vice president earns $227,300. The chief justice of the Supreme Court is paid $217,400; the other justices of the Supreme Court earn $208,100 per year.

Wealthy Members

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Congressional salaries notwithstanding, certain members of Congress are wealthy individuals. Senator John Kerry, from Massachusetts, the wealthiest member, had an estimated net worth of $188.37 million in 2010, followed by Congressman Darrell Issa from California, with an estimated net worth of $160.05 million. At least 50 of the 535 members of Congress have a net worth of $5 million or more.