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Ray Bogan

Political Correspondent

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Politics

Members of Congress still get paid during government shutdown

Sep 29, 2023

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Ray Bogan

Political Correspondent

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The federal government employs more than 2 million civilian employees and 1.4 million active duty military service members who do not get paid during a government shutdown. But members of Congress, who make $174,000 a year, continue receiving their regular salary. 

That’s because Congress members’ compensation is written directly into the Constitution. 

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Congressional leadership earns even more than rank-and-file members. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., makes $223,500, while party leaders in both chambers earn $193,400. President Biden’s $400,000 salary works the same way; he’ll keep getting paid, too. 

Straight Arrow News asked members if they should continue receiving paychecks during a shutdown

“No,” said Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., said. 

“Me neither,” Rep. Dan Bishop, R-N.C., added. 

“No,” Rep. Juan Ciscomani, R-Ariz., said.. 

Every lawmaker had an opportunity to put their money where their mouth is earlier in September when Rep. Angie Craig, D-Minn., introduced the McCarthy Shutdown Act. The act would have withheld member pay during an ongoing shutdown — it didn’t pass.

“It’s ridiculous that we still get paid while folks like TSA workers are asked to work without a paycheck,” Craig said in a statement. 

During the 35-day shutdown from December 2018 to January 2019, more than 100 members of Congress rejected pay. They donated it to nonprofit organizations or told congressional administrators to withhold it.

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The federal government employs more than 2 million civilian employees and 1.4 million active duty military service members who do not get paid during a government shutdown. But members of Congress, who make $174,000 a year, continue receiving their regular salary. 

 

That’s because their compensation is written directly into the constitution. 

 

Congressional leadership earns even more. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy makes $223,500 while party leaders earn $193,400. President Biden’s $400,000 salary works the same way, he’ll keep getting paid too. 

 

Straight Arrow News asked members if they should continue receiving paychecks during a shutdown. 

 

“No,” said Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., said. 

 

“Me neither,” said Rep. Dan Bishop, R-N.C., added. 

 

“No,” Rep. Juan Ciscomani, R-Ariz., answered. 

 

Every lawmaker had an opportunity to put their money where their mouth is earlier this month when Rep. Angie Craig, D-Minn., introduced the McCarthy Shutdown Act, which would have withheld member pay during an ongoing shutdown. It didn’t pass. 

 

“It’s ridiculous that we still get paid while folks like TSA workers are asked to work without a paycheck,” Rep. Craig said in a statement. 

During the shutdown from December 2018 to January 2019 which lasted 35 days, more than 100 members of Congress rejected pay. They either donated it to non-profit organizations or told Congressional administrators to withhold it.