We used this knowledge to design a study that looks at whether activism changes the votes of elected officials — and whether the effect is strong enough to mitigate the power of donated money.
Members can also choose to opt out of a pay raise individually. But does all of this sign waving and sitting in actually influence elected officials?
Senate and House can receive health insurance through the Federal Employees Health Benefits, and can participate in life, dental and vision plans. Was the power of activism strong enough to counter the influence of money? Activism pays on high-profile issues These striking findings led us to another question: For the Keystone Pipeline, donors were also better represented than non-donors.
Among voters who are not politically active in additional ways, we found that those who have the highest income are better represented than those with the least income.
But protests are not the only way citizens communicate with elected officials. Turns out, they make less than many doctors, lawyers and businessmen.
Despite the ubiquitous role of money in campaigns, elections and policymakingsome citizens clearly still believe in the power of protest. Gotta love inflation, right? Curiously, the two most lucrative periods for Congressional members came while Lyndon B.
But activism changes this: After decades of increasing income inequality in the U. We believe that the effectiveness of activism directed toward House members is likely restricted to high-profile issues that are well-covered by the media, where partisan positions are strong and well-established and the issue itself is highly contentious to the public.
They enshrined that right in the First Amendment. Activism, an American tradition Signing petitions, contacting officials and protesting are potentially powerful because congressional elections occur only every other year, while representatives cast votes on important issues much more frequently.
According to the Constitution, members of the House of Representatives and the Senate get to choose their own pay! Cynics, as well as some scholarssuggest that taking political action may be irrelevant or simply pales in comparison to the more powerful influence of money in politics.
And as an extra bonus, they receive allowances to meet costs for staff, office expenses and mail. Americans also have a rich history of attending town halls, writing letters to elected officials and signing petitions.
Political engagement beyond Election Day is less discussed, yet perhaps just as important. And he gets to break any ties in the House or Senate floor votes. Members of the U. This effect held true only for the ACA, not for the other issues we studied.
First, activism may be more effective in competitive congressional districts, where elections are often won by small margins.
That includes accepting honorary payments for giving speeches.Members of Congress certainly could make a lot more money in comfortable K Street lobbying jobs or as talking heads on cable news, but that requires giving up the prestige of Capitol Hill.
Inmore than lawmakers reported earning more from outside investments than from the congressional salary, which for a rank-and-file House or Senate member is $, But other research suggests that members of Congress respond to more than just the power of money.
That research found that members of Congress respond more to voters in their districts than to. Salaries of Members of Congress: Recent Actions and Historical Tables Congressional Research Service Summary Congress is required by Article I, Section 6, of the Constitution to determine its own pay.
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 $, per year.
In the House, the majority and minority leaders similarly earn $, per year, while the speaker of the house earns $, per year. Congress Discuss: Why does the American public have such a low opinion of Congress?
What can members of Congress do to improve their reputation among the general public? According to a recent Gallup poll, the United States Congress currently has a 10% positive approval rating and an 83% disapproval rating.Download