Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will be able to enjoy a number of perks after being sworn in this coming January. Carolyn Kaster/AP Photos
Vice President-elect Kamala Harris is expected to be sworn in on January 20, 2021, and will then enjoy a number of perks exclusive to the vice president.
Every US vice president since 1977 has lived in Number One Observatory Circle, a Victorian mansion just a stone’s throw away from the White House.
The vice president also earns a generous yearly salary of $235,100 per year.
Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
While you may know the financial perks of being the president and the luxurious amenities of the White House, you might not realize there are also quite a few perks to being second-in-command.
From access to Air Force Two and being able to call the vice presidential residence home, there is a number of perks and benefits exclusive to the vice president.
Here are 13 perks of being the vice president.
Vice presidents receive a generous annual salary in addition to cost-of-living adjustments.
Vice President Mike Pence. Associated Press/Evan Vucci
While the salary of the president is capped at $400,000, the salary of the vice president is more fluid, possibly due to the fact that the Constitution said nothing about the vice president’s earnings.
Vice President Mike Pence earned $230,700 in 2019, but it was set to increase to $243,500 due to the position’s pay freeze expiring, according to USA Today. However, instead of the freeze lifting entirely, Pence received a 1.9% salary raise, the same pay raise amount allotted for all federal workers. This brought his expected current salary up to about $235,100 per year.
They get to live in Number One Observatory Circle, a 9,150-square-foot Victorian mansion just a stone’s throw away from the White House.
Number One Observatory Circle, the official residence of the vice president of the United States since 1974. Katherine Frey/The Washington Post via Getty Images
Built in 1893, Number One Observatory Circle has been the home of every vice president since 1977. According to the White House, Walter Mondale was the first vice president to live in the home, and it has since been the primary residence of vice presidents Bush, Quayle, Gore, Cheney, Biden, Pence, and their families.
The historic home features beautiful chandeliers, mahogany floors, black marble fireplaces, and a desk previously used by Theodore Roosevelt.
Vice presidents can redecorate the home as they choose.
Vice President George H.W. Bush answers a phone call in the Vice President’s Residence. David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images
Vice presidents and their families have been known to put their own personal touches on the home.
“It really changed from one administration to another,” Charles Denyer, a historian and the author of “Number One Observatory Circle: The Home of the Vice President of the United States,” told USA Today in 2017.
According to a previous article by Business Insider, Dick Cheney and his family redecorated the home using a neutral color scheme of creams and greens after moving in, while George H.W. Bush installed a horseshoe pit on the grounds during his term as vice president.
Vice presidents have access to Air Force Two.
Former Vice President Joe Biden and second lady Jill Biden exiting Air Force Two. Getty Images
While the president flies on a modified Boeing 747 dubbed Air Force One, the second in command travels on a Boeing 757 plane aptly named Air Force Two when in use.
The first lady, secretary of state, and vice president are the most frequent flyers on Air Force Two, but the plane is only referred to by that name if the vice president is on board.
They use military aircraft for official travel, which is also paid for by the government.
Vice President Mike Pence prepares to board a helicopter in South Korea. AHN YOUNG-JOON/AFP/Getty Images
According to a report by Congress on presidential travel, both presidents and vice presidents are entitled to government-sponsored travel while on official White House business. Food, lodging, car rentals, and other incidentals are paid for by the government.
However, while the vice president is always entitled to travel on military aircraft, the second spouse only uses a military aircraft when he or she accompanies the vice president, or when he or she “is designated as the vice president’s representative to attend a special function,” the report states.
They also have access to armored cars.
Vice President Mike Pence’s limousine. Al Drago-Pool/Getty Images
The limousines used by the vice president are noticeably smaller than those used by the president, which are known as “The Beasts.”
However, despite being smaller in size, the vice president’s fleet of cars is just as protective. Both the vice president’s and president’s motorcades are heavily armored, bullet-proof, and bomb-proof.
After leaving office, vice presidents have temporary Secret Service protection.
Members of the US Secret Service. Alex Brandon/AP Photo
However, unlike the president who receives Secret Service protection for life, former vice presidents are only protected for up to six months after the date they leave office. That amount of time can be increased by the Department of Homeland Security, according to USA Today, but it was not for Joe Biden, the last vice president to leave office.
A staff of dozens of aides assist the vice president.
Vice President Mike Pence and other members of the coronavirus task force. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Vice President-elect Kamala Harris has already announced her top aides. Her cabinet will include Tina Flournoy as chief of staff, a domestic policy adviser, and a national security adviser; Rohini Kosoglu as a domestic policy adviser; and Nancy McEldowney as a national security adviser.
If the president allows it, vice presidents may also enjoy the many amenities of the White House, like the movie theater, putting green, and bowling alley.
President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden on the White House putting green on April 24, 2009. Pete Souza/White House/Getty Images
In 2009, Vice President Joe Biden was photographed playing golf with President Barack Obama on the White House putting green.
However, that’s not all the White House has to offer. The presidential residence is also home to a bowling alley, which Melania Trump renovated, a basketball court, a restaurant, and a movie theater.
At official White House functions, vice presidents enjoy food prepared by the executive chef and executive pastry chef.
Cristeta Comerford, the White House executive chef. Giorgio Perottino/Reuters
The White House executive chef and executive pastry chef are primarily hired to serve the first family and White House official functions. However, vice presidents also take part in events that feature the culinary stylings of the executive chef and executive pastry chef.
Vice presidents have the ability to break any tie votes in the Senate.
Vice President Mike Pence leaves a Senate policy luncheon after the Senate voted to confirm Betsy DeVos as education secretary. Mario Tama/Getty Images
As president of the Senate, the vice president has the authority to cast a tie-breaking vote in the event that Congress can not come to a decision. According to the United States Senate, 268 tie-breaking votes have been cast since 1789.
Vice President Pence has cast the most tie-breaking votes of any vice president since 1900, including multiple confirmations of Trump appointees.
Former vice presidents also receive a retirement income based on their role as president of the Senate.
Joe Biden and his wife, Jill Biden, at a sports game. Len Redkoles/NHLI/Getty Images
Vice presidents’ pensions depend largely upon how many years the vice president has served in public office. For example, Biden reportedly received a $1 million federal pension after leaving office in 2016 in exchange for his 43 years in public office, according to Forbes.
Perhaps most notably, all vice presidents could become president.
Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson being sworn in as president after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Bettmann/ Getty Images
Though likely no vice president would wish for the demise of the commander in chief, arguably the biggest honor and perk of being the vice president is the opportunity to take over the position of president if they are no longer able to serve.
Eight vice presidents have ascended to the presidency after the death of their president, while just one, Gerald R. Ford, became president upon the resignation of President Richard Nixon from office. However, more vice presidents have also run for president after leaving office, including President-elect Joe Biden.
Read the original article on Business Insider