The U.S. Senate
Terms of Office
- Elections are held in November of even-numbered years
- Senastors begin their terms on January 3rd after the election held the previous November.
- Senators have six-year terms because most of them are re-elected
- If the Senator dies or resigns before the end of the ter, the State legislature may authorize the governor to appoint someone to fill the vacancy until the election to fill the seat
Salary and Benefits
- In 1789, the senators made $6 a day.
- Today they are paid a salary of $133,600
- Benefits and resources for conducting official business include stationary, postage for official business, a medical clinic, and a gymnasium.
- Members also recieve large allowances to pay office staff and assistants, trips home, telephones, telegrams, and newsletters.
- All members are entitled to an income tax deduction to help maintain two residences (one in there home state and one in Washington, D.C.).
- When retired, Senators and Representatives are eligible for pensions of up to $50,000 or more a year for life.
Privileges Of Members
- Free from arrest for everything except for treason, felony, and breach of the peace when they are going or coming from Congress
- Cannot be sued for anything the say or do on the House or Senate floor.
- May judge members' qualifications and decide whether to seat them
- All members have the power of exclusion, or to refuse to seat an elected member by majority vote.
- May dicipline its own members for disorderly behavior.