Proposed Amendment Would Cut Off Pay for Congress During Shutdown

Congressman Tim Walz (D-MN) has proposed legislation that would prevent members of the Congress and the President from taking a paycheck if the government shuts down.

The threat of a government shutdown continues to loom as a budget has not yet been finalized and the current continuing resolution is set to expire on April 8. It’s become enough of a threat that we’ve begun to see proposed pieces of legislation popping up that, if passed, would be enacted in the event of a government shutdown.

Some of the proposals are centered around pay.  Two Congressmen proposed legislation that would ensure that members of the military would continue to be paid if a shutdown occurs.

Many readers are angry about the threat of a shutdown since it would directly affect their jobs and their paychecks. We’ve seen many comments on the site asking whether or not Congress would get paid during a shutdown, and many readers have said they would prefer to see Congress not be paid given their choice.

If the legislation proposed this past Friday by Congressman Tim Walz (D-MN) were to take effect, this would become a reality: his amendment would prevent members of Congress or the President from taking a paycheck if the government shuts down.

“Where I come from, nobody gets paid for a job they didn’t do,” said Walz. “The American people send us here to work together and solve the country’s problems and if we can’t do that, I don’t think we should be taking home a paycheck.”

In light of the damage a shutdown could cause, Congressman Walz expressed his dismay that some of his colleagues would consider taking a paycheck for days they didn’t work.

The amendment Walz offered was passed by the Senate unanimously this past month.

The current salary (2011) for rank-and-file members of the House and Senate is $174,000 per year. The President makes $400,000 per year.

Will this amendment become law? Will there be a shutdown? Those are the unknowns at this point until we see how the budget debates play out in Congress. We will continue to keep our readers informed of new developments that might directly affect them.

About the Author

Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of He has over 20 years of combined experience in media and government services, having worked at two government contracting firms and an online news and web development company prior to his current role at FedSmith.