KEY POINTS

  • Kamala Harris is expected to receive the same salary as her predecessor Mike Pence
  • Harris enjoys free accommodation and transportation as vice president
  • She is the first woman, first Black American and first South Asian American elected vice president in U.S. history

Kamala Harris made history when she was sworn in as vice president. Here’s how much she’s being paid for holding the second-highest office in the country.

Harris became the first woman, the first Black American and the first South Asian American elected vice president in the nation's history when she took the oath of office with President Joe Biden on Jan. 20. She is expected to receive the same perks that come with the position that her male predecessors enjoyed. 

In terms of financial compensation, she is expected to receive the same amount as her predecessor, Mike Pence. The former vice president was given a 1.9% salary raise in 2019 instead of lifting the pay freeze enacted by the Obama administration amid an economic recession, USA Today reported.

But how much does the second-highest public servant in the country get paid? As of 2015, a sitting vice president received a yearly salary of $230,700, per House.gov. But the salary raise brought this up to about $235,100 per year.

Lifting the freeze would have bumped up this amount further to an estimated $243,500, per USA Today. Prior to becoming vice president, Harris received a salary of $174,000 as a California senator, according to Senate.gov.

The vice president also remains on government payroll after their term. They are entitled to a retirement income calculated based on the number of years they served the federal government. Biden received more than $1 million in federal pension after leaving office in 2016 for his 43 years in public office, Forbes reported.

Like the president, the vice president also enjoys a few benefits tied to the office. The vice president’s official residence in Washington, D.C., serves as the free accommodation of the sitting VP and their family. Called the Number One Observatory Circle, the 9,150-square-foot Victorian mansion is just a stone's throw away from the White House.

Author and historian Charles Denyer told USA Today that the vice president is given liberty to redecorate the home to their liking. 

Aside from free lodging, Harris is ferried using Air Force Two and other military aircraft for air travel. When traveling on land, she makes use of a fleet of armored cars like the Cadillac limousine, called "The Beast," used by the president. 

A congressional report in 2012 disclosed that the government pays for the travel expenses of the president, the vice president and the first lady when they are working on official capacity. However, the same report revealed that the commander-in-chief, the vice president and their families need to pay the government if they use military aircraft for political or personal reasons.

Kamala Harris WILMINGTON, DELAWARE - NOVEMBER 07: Vice President-elect Kamala Harris speaks on stage at the Chase Center before President-elect Joe Biden's address to the nation November 07, 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware. After four days of counting the high volume of mail-in ballots in key battleground states due to the coronavirus pandemic, the race was called for Biden after a contentious election battle against incumbent Republican President Donald Trump. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images) Photo: Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images