Elected Congressional Members – Ultimate Self-employed Worker

Are Elected Congressional Members the Ultimate Self-employed Worker?

When those in congress want to make themselves look relevant or important, they puff up and bounce in front of cameras as if their very words shape the nation.  Well sometimes information matters–Especially, when we are not seeing proof of actions which are consistent with our national interests and security; or, they set themselves up to be ranting two-year olds on a tangent.

So What Is Acceptable In The Eyes Of Citizens For Elected Congress Members?

Regular company hours?  Clocking in or out?  Punishment for not voting or working to run our country better with business management accountability and principles?

Everyone has days when they wish they could skip work or have to call in because of emergencies. But what about those we send to congress? Should they be allowed to get away with a pattern of nonvoting or cutting their work sessions short? Is it time an amendment found its way into the constitution to treat elected official positions more like a business position with yearly hours, corporate standards of conduct, or discipline methods along with standard work requirements?

“The 20th Amendment mandates that Congressional terms – consisting of the House of Representative, as
well as the Senate – were adjusted to end on January 3rd at noon. Congress is required to meet – at least one time – on an annual basis.”

That ‘s it – we spend a year listening to campaign promises, a year of dealing with political fundraising, two years waiting for real action and change but nowhere in the constitution does it note that congressmen have to meet daily or for more than one time in an entire year to run our country. No wonder these people get to DC and work ethics, common sense, and accountability fly out window.

They are the ultimate self-employed worker – setting their own hours, determining their agendas, and deciding if they choose to work or not for most of the year at least according to the constitution.

All of this done without personnel management rules or oversight. They get a yearly salary most lower middle class employees would love to have for meeting ONE mandated time a year where parliamentary not corporate employee rules apply.

Does anyone see anything wrong with this? Take for instance one of their chief jobs to submit and vote on bills that will drive the country forward or restrict the people’s’ rights.

First of all, states were supposed to be handling most business of governance so our forefathers are basically alluding to this fact by only noting one main assembly. Uncle Sam has seen fit to wrap himself up with the threads of power grab.

Second, the one thing our forefather did not foresee was the rise of our country to the top-tier of the world powers though they may have hoped for it. They naively hoped (and warned against) that all elected would be honorable and honor-bound to be the best representative of their people possible. Enter the age of the modern ideas where no morals, rules of common sense, honor and loyalty apply.

Ballotpedia has provided a lifetime voting record of every member up to the end of the 113rd Congress, from there be anyone is welcome to look at the 114th voting records. In it they balanced bills that should have been voted on by the congress member versus the number of times they did not show up to vote to come up with a percentage figure.

Would missed votes be acceptable if they were a total of one week per session? May one to 5 percent of votes taken over an entire congressional history just in case trips or health take the person away from what they were sent to do by their constituents?

Apparently, this is not what some members of Congress believe to be true of their positions.  They arrive late, complain about how hard it is to get to the capitol, lambast, procrastinate, refuse to show up for votes or simply always vote NAY except in specific already-decided cases.

And guess what, they can’t be hauled into the manager’s office for breaking company policy or abuse of company rules. We send them there, fork over money to supply them funds to run, in turn they promise what they think we want to hear — all the time aware that ultimately we as the corporate “management” board have absolutely no way to combat bad behavior practices by our employees at least until the next election.

Who has the Worst Senate Republican percentage of lifetime missing votes?     

Yep–John McCain in office since 1987 at 10.7%. No other Senate Republican had more than that in vote percentages not even those in office for nearly as long.

How about worst Republican House of Representative lifetime missing votes?

Don Young in office since 1973 at 15.2%.
Louie Gohmert in office since 2005 at 7.9%.
Kenny Marchant since 2004 had 7.3%.
Rob Bishop since 2003 had 7.2%.
Six other Republicans ranged from 5.0 to 7.0% and none them began after 2006.

What I found interesting on the Democrat Party side of this.

1) If an item was a targeted one like salaries for congress, Iran approval, Export/Import Bank, Infrastructure targeted road, or LGBT Rights then they voted YAY.  About 90% of the entire Democrat representatives, for the most part voted NAY on every bill. No one seemed able to think for themselves on ANY ISSUE. Republicans appear generally to have thought for themselves and to have considered constituents over Party.
2) ONLY California had half or more of their representatives with a 5% or greater missing votes. Pelosi(5.2%), Speier(12.2%), and Waters(7.7%) were generally representative of missing vote percentages. One excuse I saw listed in an article was that the distance was too far to travel. Yet Hawaii, Alaska, Washington, and Oregon were able to show up and vote with fewer than 5% missing votes over their lifetimes of service.
3) Finally, THE most glaring point — out of all the missing vote percentages ranging from Pelosi at 5.2% to John Conyers at 17.2% — only TWO had been in office for the first time beginning in 2013. In general during the range of Democrat service in office was from 1973-2013. So basically, these party members are stuck if the same ones do not continue in office or at least a few are found that are new. So citizens who are Democrats have less representation. Good!


Draw your own conclusions but from where I sit, there are a heck of a lot of lifetime politicians (more Democrat than Republican) that need to be removed by voters for incompetence, inconsistency, or plain out not doing their best to consider constituent needs not Party mantra. The citizens of those districts are being underserved and deserve better.

The question is — how well should we receive any information from congress members who can’t bother to show up or consistently obstruct work? Is it indicative of their ability to do the best for those they represent or for their own personal interests? How many of these “career” politicians would make it in a real job?

Someone needs to provide a guideline or amendment that actually addresses member behavior either from the state level or the federal level on expected actions and disciplinary procedures to ensure the will of the people is better addressed over the will of a Party and that actions taken by congress members reflect the highest constitutional standards possible.



Trivia on the topic

The average amount of workdays per year for regular businesses is about 261. This number is based on the calculations used by the United States Bureau of Personnel Management for computing pay rates based on an 8 hour workday and 40 hour work week.

How Many Days Does Congress Sit In Session?
-In 1789 and 1790 Congress met a total of 519 days in order to establish this country.
-In 1900 as the country changed to a new decade and entered a period of vast changes and wars, the 56th Congress met a a total of 277 days under William McKinley.
-During WWI days under Woodrow Wilson, Congress met between 1911 and 1920 a total of 2,117 days from the 63rd to the 66th congresses.
-Franklin Roosevelt’s 73rd congress through the 79th congress between 1933-1946 (finishing under Harry Truman) a total of 3,487 days.
-The 112nd congress met 330 total calendar days 2011-2012.
-The 113th congress met 298 total calendar days 2013-2014.
-The 114th congress met 288 total calendar days 2015-2016.

(Anyone seeing a trend here? It is also important here to note that all elected officials do have home office locations and do often use home time to confer with constituents but like educators and many professionals time spent is not always counted by time just in workplace.)

Cost of congressional elections roughly according to Open Secret‘s graph – 2000 $1.4 billion, to a forecast figure of $2.8 billion (no actuals were included). In one chart they offered  $1.4 billion total–all but change was spent based on data released by the FEC on 03/19/17.

How Much Did WWI and WWII cost?
During days of war, all the world was being threatened by radical extremists under the guise of Fascism and Communism. Many millions of people were murdered, imprisoned, and homes destroyed across the globe as both theatres of war raged for religious or sectarian reasons. (Now where have I heard that recently…hmm?)

WWI – World War I killed 9 million combatants and 5 million civilian innocents. Its cost estimate from 1917-1921 was about $20 billion dollars which in 2011 dollars amounted to $334 billion.
WWII – World War II killed over 60 million people, which was about 3% of the 1940 world population (est. 2.3 billion). Between 1941-1945, the US spent around $296 billion which in 2011 dollars amounted to just over $4,104 billion dollars.
Middle East – starting with the Persian Gulf War 1990 $61 billion or 2011 of $102 billion, Iraq 2003 roughly in 2011 dollars $784 billion, Middle East 2001-2010 roughly $1,147 billion for a grand total of roughly $2,033 billion not counting collateral, health-related, or other expenses. (Note: I have seen estimates of military expenses since 2000 suggesting a total of $6 trillion though I can not confirm from the above sites. Nor, given Obama’s “rearranging of dollars between different agency accounts and arrangements with Iran”, do we have a way as yet to figure out how much was siphoned off to the Middle East in humanitarian aid, training, cash, arms, equipment, and other things.)

How Much Did Congress Members Earn?
In 1789, the state’s paid the congress members salary and if dissatisfied with performance “fired” them and refused to continue paying.
-In 1914 congress members earned $7,500 each year or in 2012 dollars about $133,000.
-In 1944 congress members were paid $10,000 yearly or in 2012 dollars about $130,000.
In 2000 members were paid a little over $141,000 or about $188,000 in 2012 dollars.
-In 2009 they were paid just over $174,000 with pay adjustments being denied when put forward.
-Since 2009 the Speaker of the House earns just over $223,000 and the Majority, Minority, and President Pro Tempore make about $193,000.


About Uriel

Retired educator and constitutionalist
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7 Responses to Elected Congressional Members – Ultimate Self-employed Worker

  1. vonMesser says:

    How about term limits:
    2 terms as senator. 6 terms as Representative. (Yes, can serve as both for 24 years total)

    How about No pension until served 15 years minimum?

    How about salary based on number of days in session divided by number of days member was present?

    How about salary based on double the average wage in the country (adjusted up or down every 2 years)?

    • Uriel says:

      All good suggestions– how about roll sign in on the floor daily or a specified number of days in session like 230 per year?

      • Uriel says:

        How about a minimum of say five bills per week per division like agriculture or transportation to be voted on?

        • Do you really want the congress critters to have to come up with bills to pass? They come up with enough dangerous and bad laws as it is, tie their pay to the number of bills passed and we could end up with some really bad law just so they could say they passed a bill! I think tying the number of bills passed to pay is a horrible idea. I don’t mind them being in Washington for fewer days, it is less time for them to plot to pass stupid or dangerous laws, something they do too often now.

  2. Uriel says:

    Hmm — you have a serious point there Mark but I wasn’t really talking about tying pay to bills. I would much rather see bills back in the hands of states actually though from current governor idiocy even that is worrisome.

  3. Gillian TJ says:

    Excellent post!!! Could the above post be posted on Congressional front door(LoL), say twice a month with above post on twitter & FB as well as White House fence, on busses & trains etc. Let the people KNOW whats going on (or not going on). Good one Uriel.

    • Uriel says:

      Thank. You Gillian. Welcome to Hardnox. Hey that is a great idea. The more places the better!