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Why do we pay a 'death gratuity' for members of Congress?

Original post made by Dave on Oct 19, 2012

we actually have a law that requires a Death Gratuity be paid to the survivors of a member of Congress who dies in office.

The amount paid is equal to one year's salary. Why?

Originally, it was supposed to be a form of life insurance, and it has been compared to what many private sector employers offer to their employees. But with all the the other 'perks' that go with Congressional elective service, is this really necessary?

The Senate handbook details what is to be done following the death of a member in office: "in the next appropriations bill, an item will be inserted for a gratuity to be paid to the widow(er) or other next- of-kin, in the amount of one-year's compensation."

The House amount is "equal to the Member's annual salary, payable to the deceased Member's widow or widower, or children."

In both cases, the gratuity is considered a "gift" per U.S. Code.

Another example of members abusing their positions and we the voters continue to let them!

Comments (4)

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Oct 19, 2012 at 4:40 pm

Elected officials will always find ways to out-slick the electorate.

Only a small percentage of Americans are involved in the political.

How did you arrange to remain disinterested until now?


Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Oct 19, 2012 at 4:43 pm

More news of death gratuity: Web Link

as i live 'n breath! tee hee


Posted by Sam, a resident of Oak Hill
on Oct 19, 2012 at 6:08 pm

Dave said: "Why do we pay a 'death gratuity' for members of Congress? .....Originally, it was supposed to be a form of life insurance, and it has been compared to what many private sector employers offer to their employees. But with all the the other 'perks' that go with Congressional elective service, is this really necessary?"

I think that free 1-times-salary life insurance is a standard benefit at a lot of middle to large companies, so you picked a poor target to go after. If you're concerned about the unnamed 'perks' that you mentioned, you might have a better argument if you state which ones are unfair and why.


Posted by It's Obvious, a resident of Amador Estates
on Oct 20, 2012 at 4:48 pm

Because if the member of congress dies while still in office, he/she loses out on the multi-million dollar per year "jobs" consulting for the industries they have been "regulating". This can mean that the congresspersons family may have to live a middle class lifestyle FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIFE!! It's only fair.


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