Getting Paid during Government Shutdown is a No-Brainer for These Lawmakers

Thursday, October 10, 2013
Sen. Roy Blunt

While federal offices remain closed and thousands of civil servants go without work or pay, members of Congress continue to receive salaries. Now, most lawmakers have decided to forego receiving their paychecks. But more than a dozen senators and representatives are collecting their pay, while all members of the House can still access the lower house’s gym, which remains open.


The reasons for accepting their salaries vary among the 16 legislators cashing their checks, according to Government Executive.


Republican Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri said it was “silly” for lawmakers to refuse their salaries. Likewise, GOP Senator Deb Fischer of Nebraska said forfeiting pay is a “gimmick.”


Both of Iowa’s senators, Republican Chuck Grassley and Democrat Tom Harkin, said they’re still working, so why shouldn’t they get paid?


(Members of the Capitol Police force and Transportation Security Administration airport screeners might disagree, given their being forced to stay on the job without pay.)


Other senators still cashing their paychecks include Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma), Chris Murphy (D-Connecticut) and Patty Murray (D-Washington).


House members getting paid include Susan Brooks (R-Indiana), William Clay Jr. (D-Missouri), James Clyburn (D-South Carolina), Howard Coble (R-North Carolina), Danny Davis (D-Illinois), Renee Ellmers (R-North Carolina), Todd Rokita (R-Indiana), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Florida) and Mike Thompson (D-California).


Whether or not a representative is accepting his or her salary, all House members can still enjoy the perk of using the House gym. The facility—which offers a swimming pool, basketball courts, steam room, sauna, and flat-screen TVs— has remained open during the government shutdown...although lawmakers are having to go without towel service at this time.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

Not All Lawmakers Are Standing With Feds by Refusing Pay (by Eric Katz, Government Executive)

Government Shutdown: House Gets Paid, But Who's Keeping Their Paycheck? (CNN)

Government Shutdown: Senators Get Paid, But Who's Keeping Their Paycheck? (CNN)

Exclusive Gyms For Members Of Congress Deemed ‘Essential,’ Remain Open During Shutdown (by Judd Legum, ThinkProgress)           

Bills Would Halt Congress’s Pay During Shutdown Periods (by Josh Hicks, Washington Post)

Big Winners in Government Shutdown…Political Fundraisers (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)


Leave a comment