Former Lawmakers Get $26 Million in Pensions

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Taxpayers are likely to foot the bill for at least $26 million in pensions for former Members of Congress this year.

That estimate, drawn from data published by the Congressional Research Service, is based on payments to 455 former Members as of October 2009 and doesn’t include potential payouts to dozens of newly retired lawmakers.

While lawmakers have voted to curb their annual pay raises and slash office budgets, the Congressional pension program is rarely mentioned on Capitol Hill.

Aside from passing a measure in 2007 to strip members of Congress convicted of certain felonies while in office, neither the House nor Senate has pursued major changes to the retirement program since the mid-1990s.

Read more about pensions for former lawmakers.

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