Atmosphere

Balance Sheet

A look at the biz of running a congressional office.

March 2010

With everyone counting pennies these days, we were curious to see how congressional offices balance their funds. After all, they must manage the equivalent of a small business with an annual budget of about $1.5 million to cover rent, travel, and staffers split between Washington, D.C., and their Colorado district. Here's how Colorado Representative Ed Perlmutter allocated his funds in the third quarter of 2009.

Total third-quarter expenses $289,655

72% Personnel
$207,510, Full-time staffers: 15

9% Communication with constituents
$27,843 Pieces of mail: 88,646

7% Rent, communication, and utilities
$20,433

7% Supplies, technology, and other
$19,675

5% Travel
$14,194 Trips by Perlmutter: 6, Trips by staff: 11