Bill Would Withhold Lawmakers’ Paychecks During Shutdowns

Members of Congress currently continue to get paid during government shutdowns, but a new bill would change that if it were to become law.

Recently introduced legislation would withhold the pay of Members of Congress during periods of time in which a government shutdown is in effect if it were to become law.

The bill (H.R. 26) was introduced in the House by Congressman John Curtis (R-UT). As it stands now, lawmakers continue to receive their regular paychecks while a partial government shutdown is in effect. This is not the case for federal employees who get furloughed in a shutdown; unless Congress specifically authorizes it, they are not guaranteed pay for the period of time they missed work during a shutdown.

“The American people expect Congress to do its most basic job: pass a budget and fund the government. If we can’t, then we shouldn’t get paid,” Curtis said in a statement. “Washington should take note of states like Utah that do it right. Not only does the Utah Legislature pass a baseline budget at the beginning of each legislative session to avoid any state government shutdown threats, but they also responsibly balance the state’s budget every year.”

Some Members of Congress request that their paychecks be withheld when a shutdown takes place, and Curtis is among them during this shutdown:

Past attempts have been made at passing legislation to block lawmakers’ pay during a shutdown, but none have ever been passed into law.

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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.