If you own a company or are involved in a family business or farm, you'd do better being in the Senate than in the House if you want to keep all your current income.
On the other hand, if you are a lawyer, architect or doctor - and you want to keep practicing in a firm while you serve in Congress, albelt for $8,625 a year - then the House may be the place for you.
The two-week Senate floor debate gradually shaped a code of conduct for that body, but also created rules different from those voted earlier by the House.
House members did not enjoy the luxury of extended debate. Their ethics code was voted on after one afternoon and evening of debate.
The House and then the Senate approved a litlation on outside earned income of members to 15 per cent of their annual salaries - or $8.625 ayear at the current $57,500 pay scale.
In both houses the income limit was the most hotly argued provision and to keep support for passage, the provision was tightened in the House and eased in the Senate.
An exception was orginally made in both houses to the earned income limitation for received from family business and farms.
In the House, that provision was tightened when lawyers - who number more than 50 members - complained they were being limited but members with family business were not.
The House code managers, during debate, all but wiped out the family business income loophole.
Rep. Lee H. Hamilton (D-Ind.), whose task force had written the limitation and exemption, told the House that "if personal services [of a member] actually produce the income, then it comes under the ($8,625) limitation."
For several House members, that was a costly determination. Reps. Don Edwards (D-Calif.) and John J. Rhodes (R-Ariz.) earned salaries from family insurance companies for which they performed managerial functions. Their work for the firms was infrequent and done primarily on weekends or during congressional recesses.
Under the House rules, both will be limited to $8,625 a year from their companies - if they have no other outside earned income. Under the Senate rules, both could take the same salaries - around $30,000 each - they made before, if they continued to provide their managerial services when the chamber was not in session.
Things went just the other way for the family business exemption in the Senate.
The Senate amended its draft code, after some debate, to exempt from the $8,625 limit income received by members from family owned businesses and farms so long as their activities "do not consume significant amounts of time while the Senate is in session."
When the Senate is not is session, according to Sen. Gaylord Nelson (D-Wis.), who chaired the special committee that drafted the Senate code, members will be free to do whatever they want. That means, with regard to family businesses, anything from managerial or supervisory activities to waiting on customers or plowing and planting fields.
"I do not think [it was] anyone's intent that when the Senate was not in session or on weekends that a member would not be able to give his advice and devote some of his energies in terms of managing and supervising the activities of a family enterprise," Nelson said during debate.
The Senate managers for the code widened the income limitation loophole for a family business because a number of members who owned farms be forced to find a way around the rule.
Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) urged modification to allow "the senator to continue his life as he has had it before he came here without being duplicitous." Stevens had argued that members would be forced to incorporate family enterprises and take their income in dividends - which have no limitation - if earned income of their businesses were kept at $8,625
Things went just the other way on the question of should members who are lawyers by able to continue their practices.
While there are many practicing lawyers in the House, there are few, if any, in the Senate.
The Senate, therefore, came up with a prohibition against lawyers and other professionals doing work partime if they are associated with a firm or partnership. An original proposal was to bar them from any practice.
As finally approved the code requires a senator who wants to practice law to do it on his own and limit his earnings to $8,625 a year.
The Senate also probibits a member from being listed on a firm's letterhead or being "of counsel" - ever if he receives no pay. The purpose is no prevent other members of a firm from trading on that member's association.
In the House, on the other hand, a member can belong to a firm and be listed on its letterhead. If the House had tried to limit lawyers' association with a firm, it would probably have lost. The members' income is limited to $8,625 a year, but colleagues still may be in a position to capitalize on the member's name.
Book writers would do better in the Senate than the House under the new codes, although both bodies will permit unlimited income to flow to members in the form of book royalties. Royalties are the amount of money per sold book the writer receives.
In the Senate, however, the code allows a member/writer to take an advance from a publisher before the book is printed. The House/writer must wait for actual sales before he can collect.
There are several lesser differences that frequently reflect the Senate's longer study of the implication of the code's contents.
The House rules, for example, contain a prohibition against members receiving gifts of more than $100 from any foreign national. It clearly reflects concern over the Korean scandal that hangs over the body where, it is alleged, many members took gifts from Tongsun Park.
The draft Senate rule contained a similar provision. Sen. Jacob K. Javits (R.N.Y.) pointed out during debate that "many of us have foreign friends with whom we enjoy very close personal relationships." And, added Javits, the gift prohibition would prevent receiving gifts of more than $100 from such friends "without regard to whether that foreign national is or is not interested in any legislation before Congress."
Javits offered an amendment to limit the foreign gift ban to those with legislative interests and it was quickly accepted. House members, however, still are limited to receiving gifts of $100 or less from foreigners even if they are old friends.