One Congressman Wants to Cut Off Lawmakers’ Pay During Government Shutdowns

By on September 19, 2015 in Pay & Benefits with 28 Comments
Image of Congressman Rick Nolan (D-MN)

Congressman Rick Nolan (D-MN)

Congressman Rick Nolan (D-MN) has introduced legislation that would prevent future Congresses from getting paid in the event of a government shutdown.

The bill (H.R. 3562), if enacted, would not apply to the current Congress and the possible shutdown looming on October 1. The Constitution’s 27th Amendment prohibits any law that changes lawmakers’ salaries during their current terms, so laws can only be enacted that affect future sessions of Congress.

According to Nolan, barring pay for Members of Congress would be fair since it puts them in the same position as other federal employees who end up furloughed during a government shutdown.

Nolan said in a statement, “If hundreds of thousands of other federal employees are to go without their salaries — twisting slowly in the wind in a government shutdown — then the Congress should not be paid either. This legislation would require the Congress to work full time — with no salary — during any government shutdown until they pass a bill to fund our government and pay the public employees who go to work on our behalf every day.”

The current annual salary for Members of Congress is $174,000.

Nolan’s bill is reminiscent of past gestures by Congress. During the threat of a government shutdown in 2011, some lawmakers said that they would donate their pay to charity. It was known as the “No Budget, No Pay” pledge.

For details about the impact a partial government shutdown would have on your pay, be sure to see What Happens to Your Pay and Benefits During a Shutdown?.

© 2016 Ian Smith. All rights reserved. This article may not be reproduced without express written consent from Ian Smith.

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Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of FedSmith.com. He enjoys writing about current topics that affect the federal workforce. Ian also has a background in web development and does the technical work for the FedSmith.com web site and its sibling sites.

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