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

One Congressman has introduced legislation to prevent future Members of Congress from being paid in the event of a government shutdown.

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?.

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.