House Seats Cost $1.6 Million in 2012

House Seats Cost $1.6 Million in 2012

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House members spent an average of $1.6 million to win their seats  in 2012, about twice as much as they spent on their campaigns in 1986, according to a   joint study from the Brookings Institution and the American Enterprise Institute.

The new report found that incumbents re-elected with more than 60 percent of the vote spent  about $1.3 million, while incumbents in swing states facing tougher races spent about $2.3 million to hang on to their seats.

In the Senate, victorious candidates spent a record $10.4 million on average  in the 2012 campaign.  (The analysis only includes what was spent by candidates and does not include money spent on their behalf  by political parties or independent groups like super PACs.) -  See the study here

EXPOSED! SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBERS   The IRS is having one tough year. After being embroiled in scandal for targeting nonprofit groups as well as spending millions on lavish conferences, the agency has now been accused of accidentally exposing thousands of Americans’ Social Security numbers online. A new audit by found the agency accidentally disclosed 2, 319 Social Security numbers on its website from tax returns.  Carl Malamud, founder of the independent government transparency group,  said the  numbers were posted on the Internet for less than 24 hours after the mistake was discovered.  The majority of the numbers came from the tax forms of nonprofit political groups known as 527s.   Malamud filed a report with the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration on July 1.   -  Read more at NextGov

DEMS PRESS ON WITH IMMIGRATION REFORM   Democratic members of the Senate “Gang of Eight” instrumental in passing a major immigration reform bill  planned to meet Tuesday morning  to discuss how to force the House to  take up the issue. That will be  an uphill battle, because House Republicans are adamantly opposed to the Senate-passed bill that offers illegal immigrants a path to citizenship. Instead, they’re taking a piecemeal approach aimed at toughening border security and cracking down on illegal immigrants.   -  Read more at The Washington Post

OMB: DEFICIT WILL SHRINK MORE THAN EXPECTED The Office of Management and Budget released  its mid-session review on Monday showing that this year’s deficit will total  $759 billion, about $214 billion less than originally projected in President Obama’s  budget .  The newly revised deficit  would amount to  4.7 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) compared to 6 percent projected earlier. The White House is also predicting a better than expected job market. Unemployment – now 7.6 percent – would average  around 7 percent for much of the coming fiscal year before falling to  6.8 percent by the end of fiscal 2014.  But OMB also determined that the large  sequester budget cuts would slow economic growth this year and revised its prediction down to 2.4 percent from 2.6 percent. -  Read more at The Fiscal Times

DOD WORKERS SEIZE THE (FURLOUGH) DAY  Some of the more than 650,000 civilian Defense Dept.  workers who were forced to take the first of 11 unpaid furlough days yesterday tried to be light-hearted about the situation. . Some workers posted on an unofficial Facebook group page called “How I Spent My Furlough Day.” Others left creative out-of-the-office messages like “Furloughed! In case of emergency please contact the Senate Appropriations Committee at 202-224-7363 and request supplemental funding. I will return your call as soon as possible.” One  employee wrote a song to express her unhappiness with her unpaid day of vacation, spun to “Monday Monday” by the Mamas and the Papas. -  See it here

Brianna Ehley is the former Washington Correspondent for The Fiscal Times. She is currently a reporter on Politico's health care team in Washington, D.C.