What a Seat in Congress Costs, By the Hour

Just how much campaign cash do lawmakers have to bring in on a typical day? We did the math.

US Capitol: <a href="http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Uscapitolindaylight.jpg">Kevin McCoy</a>/Wikimedia Commons

Members of Congress gripe about how much time they spend asking for money. But just how much dough do they have to come up with while they’re not doing their day jobs? We did the math: Assuming they spent 40 hours a week focusing on finding funds, House members must raise, on average, $367 an hour; senators must come up with $819 an hour. Some of the most costly (and cheapest) seats on the Hill, by the hour:


10 Most expensive Senate seats

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif): $2,444/hour

Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.): $2,068/hour

Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.): $1,875/hour

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.): $1,823/hour

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.): $1,812/hour

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.): $1,749/hour

Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.): $1,685/hour

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.): $1,627/hour

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas): $1,611/hour

Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.): $1,573/hour


Least expensive Senate seat

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah): $143/hour


10 Most expensive House seats 

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.): $3,391/hour 

Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio): $2,449/hour

Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.): $1,636/hour

Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.): $1,489/hour

Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.): $1,185/hour

Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.): $1,128/hour

Rep. Scott Rigell (R-Va.): $1,128/hour

Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.): $1,013/hour

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.): $981/hour

Rep. Michael Capuano (D-Mass.): $925/hour


Least expensive House seat

 Rep. Todd Platts (R-Pa.): $55/hour


Mother Jones analysis of data from the Center for Responsive Politics. Assumes 40 hours a week of fundraising, 50 weeks a year, for full term in office. Based on cost of members’ most recent election.