No Work, No Pay Act Puts Congress in Same Position as Federal Employees

While nearly 800,000 federal employees go without pay this month during the government shutdown, some members of Congress are working to halt their own paychecks as a symbol of solidarity. The No Work, No Pay Act has been introduced in both chambers of Congress and would prohibit legislative branch representatives from collecting a paycheck while any branch of government is closed.

Rep. John Curtis (R-Utah) has introduced the measure in the House as H.R. 26, while Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) has introduced a nearly identical measure in the Senate as S. 74.

Curtis explained in a press release, “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. 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.”

Daines expressed a similar sentiment in a press release saying, “It’s simple - it is the fundamental role of Congress to fund the government and until that happens, they shouldn’t get paid.”

While these measures would make it law to prevent congressional representatives from receiving pay during a shutdown, some members of congress have already taken it upon themselves to refuse pay.

Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) has pledged to donate salary he earns during the shutdown to Homes for the Brave, a group that provides housing for the homeless, particularly veterans.

Senator Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), Senator Joe Hoeven (R-ND), Senator Catherine Cortez-Masto (D-Nev.), Rep. Denver Riggleman (R-Virg.) have all agreed to donate their salaries to charities within their states.

Thus far, 63 congressional members have agreed to forego their paychecks either by refusing to accept them or donating them to charity. For a full list of representatives denying pay in solidarity with federal workers click here.

Posted in From the Hill

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