“No Budget, No Pay”

By • April 7, 2011 0 Comments

Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) has pledged not to take his salary if the government shuts down.  He is calling it the “No Budget, No Pay” Pledge. Manchin distributed a letter to his colleagues making the commitment to forego his salary and he is asking them to do the same.

According to Manchin, “I will forego my federal salary until we reach an agreement. I will donate my salary to charity or return it to the Treasury until the government works again.”

Manchin also stated “While millions of American families will be impacted by a government shutdown- whether they are serving our country’s military, whether someone in their family is furloughed or whether they are unable to use critical government services – elected officials are the one group who will not be impacted. Just the opposite, in fact: we still get paid. How does that make any sense?”

Manchin previously was involved in an effort in the Senate to block pay for members of Congress and the President in the event of a shutdown. At the end of March, he and sixteen other Senators sent a letter to House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) urging him to immediately take up and pass legislation that had been drafted by Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) to stop pay for members of Congress and the President in a shutdown. The bill was never taken up by the House, however.

Boehner has expressed support for the idea of Congress not being paid as well. When asked by George Stephanopoulos on “Good Morning America” whether or not members of Congress should be paid during a shutdown, he said, “No they shouldn’t be getting paid just like federal employees shouldn’t be getting paid.” Boehner also said in the interview that he does not want to shut the government down.

The full text of Manchin’s letter follows.

 

Dear Colleague,

Every passing hour, the looming possibility of a government shutdown becomes more real. The truth is, a shutdown may disrupt vital government services that that matter to our servicemembers, children, seniors, veterans and all American families.

The fact is, the American people elected us to do a job – a job that means we must work together and not allow ideology or partisanship to needlessly divide us and prevent us from reaching a commonsense agreement.

While millions of American families will be impacted by a government shutdown- whether they are serving our country’s military, whether someone in their family is furloughed or whether they are unable to use critical government services – elected officials are the one group who will not be impacted. Just the opposite, in fact: we still get paid.

How does that make any sense?

That is why, 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. I will donate my salary to charity or return it to the Treasury until the government works again.

In the Senate, we tried to make this commonsense measure the law of our country, and we unanimously passed legislation from Senators Boxer and Casey to prevent lawmakers and the President from drawing a salary if the government shuts down. Unfortunately, that legislation is going nowhere in the House.

The bottom line is this: I can’t imagine that the President, Vice President or any Member of Congress – Republican or Democrat – thinks they should get paid when the government has shut down.

Finally, some in Washington will deride this as an empty gesture. To those naysayers, I say that the American people expect more of us. They expect us to lead by example and share their pain until a budget resolution is reached that reflects our values and priorities as a country.

Again, I urge you to send the American people the right message and join with me to sign the “No Budget, No Pay” Pledge.

Sincerely,
Senator Joe Manchin III

© 2014 FedSmith Inc. All rights reserved. This copyrighted article may not be reproduced without express written consent of FedSmith Inc.

Tags:

About the Author (  |   )

Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of FedSmith.com. He enjoys writing about current topics that affect the federal workforce. Ian has worked in the web development field since 1998 and does the development and programming for the FedSmith.com web site and its sibling sites (FedsDataCenter.com and TSPDataCenter.com).

Comments

If you are an Internet Explorer user, please note that Disqus may not render properly in compatability view mode.

Free Email Updates

Sign up for our free email updates to get our latest news sent directly to your inbox
  • Get our latest news in your inbox each business day
  • Get the day's closing prices for the TSP funds