Since 2006, lawmakers on the Hill have tripled their income from private-sector jobs and companies they own, a new analysis of financial disclosure statements says.
In 2006, 75 members of Congress took in at least $7.8 million of outside income from private sector jobs and companies. In 2010, outside earnings had skyrocketed to $27.5 million by 68 lawmakers, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
The income comes from varied sources: Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.) made over $500 for being an extra in singer Miley Cyrus’ film, “The Last Song.” Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.) got lucky – he received $24,835 in lottery winnings, while Former Sen. Kit Bond (R-Mo.) made $280 from the sale of chestnuts.
Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) earned at least $100,000 from farmland and rental property in Lake Jackson, Texas.
Former Democratic Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) made between $5,000 and $15,000 selling grapes from a vineyard she owns with her husband, while Rep. John Fleming (R-La.) made at least $6.3 million from Subway franchises.
Members of Congress are allowed to earn money in the private sector, so long as they do not earn more than $26,550 a year from outside work - excluding money earned from companies in dividends or profits, so long as the lawmaker doesn’t work full-time.
In 2010, most lawmakers earned a base salary of $174,000 for their work in Congress.
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