Members Of Congress Still Slated To Be Paid During Shutdown (VIDEO)

|
April 7, 2011 5:35 a.m.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) joined the vast majority of members of Congress Wednesday night, saying elected federal officials should not be paid in the event of a government shutdown.

But with less than 48 hours to go until the government does shut down, all members — and the President — are still slated to receive their checks. The optics of this are so bad that members are figuring out ways to avoid political stigma for swimming in dough while their constituents suffer.

“If the government shuts down, I will take this pledge, and I urge you all – from the President and Vice President to all Members of Congress – to take it with me: I will forego my federal salary until we reach an agreement,” writes Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) in a letter to colleagues. “I will donate my salary to charity or return it to the Treasury until the government works again.”The Senate passed a bill unanimously several weeks ago that would have blocked congressional and presidential pay during a shutdown. The House did, too. But House Republicans embedded their no-pay legislation in a bigger bill — one which would automatically trigger drastic spending cuts, and which has been rejected by Democrats.

The two bills don’t agree — and they must for President Obama to sign it.

Note, even if Obama signed it, there’s still a constitutional question. The 27th Amendment forbids a sitting Congress from changing its own compensation; it can only make changes to the compensation of future Congresses. But, really, who’s going to sue to stop members of Congress from earning less money.

Introducing
The TPM Journalism Fund: A New Way To Support TPM
We're launching the TPM Journalism Fund as an additional way for readers and members to support TPM. Every dollar contributed goes toward:
  • -Hiring More Journalists
  • -Providing free memberships to those who cannot afford them
  • -Supporting independent, non-corporate journalism
Are you experiencing financial hardship?
Apply for a free community-supported membership
Comments
advertisement
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Senior Editor:
Special Projects Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Publishing Associate:
Front-End Developer:
Senior Designer:
SPECIAL DEAL FOR PAST TPM MEMBERS
40% OFF AN ANNUAL PRIME MEMBERSHIP
REJOIN FOR JUST $30