How much do Members get paid?
There is little reason for there to be public confusion over this fact, as it is widely reported and readily available on the House and Senate web sites. As of January 2009, Senators and Representatives receive $174,000 per year. Certain positions have higher rates of pay. The Majority and Minority Leaders in both the House and Senate and the President pro tempore of the Senate earn $193,400. The Speaker of the House earns $223,500.
A table of historic data on Congressional salaries is accessible here.
US Code Title II, chapter 3 covers the details of how and when the House and Senate receive their salaries. The “pay period” for a new Member of Congress begins after the Member is sworn in. The Constitution sets this day as January 3rd, though Congress can vary the date. Members who are leaving Congress likewise stop getting their salaries on that day. Members who have served long enough may be eligible for a retirement plan when they leave office, but otherwise they receive no further compensation from the Congress.