CNN keeps count: Congress gets paid, but who's keeping their paycheck?
October 3rd, 2013
09:25 AM ET
12 months ago

CNN keeps count: Congress gets paid, but who's keeping their paycheck?

(CNN) – While more than 800,000 federal workers, including some congressional staffers, are being furloughed during the government shutdown, members of Congress are still getting paid, as required by law.

But some members of the House and Senate–the very bodies that failed to prevent the shutdown–are giving away their salary in solidarity.

CNN reached out to all 533 current members of Congress about their paycheck plans.

As of Thursday at 5:00 p.m., the tally showed 32 senators are donating to charity or the Treasury Department, while nine are not accepting a paycheck and two are undecided.

Two senators, Tom Coburn, R-Oklahoma and Chris Murphy, D-Connecticut, told CNN they plan to keep their salary.

On CNN's Crossfire, Coburn said that he plans to keep his salary and "spend it and tithe it and give to it charities and do the things that I've always done."

In the House, 47 representatives say they're donating to charity or the Treasury, while 65 are not accepting a paycheck and two are undecided.

Seven House members, however, say they're keeping their salary– Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Florida; Rep. Danny Davis, D-Illinois; Rep. Todd Rokita, R-Indiana; Rep. William 'Lacy' Clay, Jr., D-Missouri; Rep. Howard Coble, R-North Carolina; Rep. Susan Brooks, R-North Carolina; Rep. Renee Ellmers, R-North Carolina.

"I need my paycheck. That’s the bottom line,” Ellmers told North Carolina station WTVD in a phone interview. “I understand that maybe there are members who are deferring their paychecks and that's admirable," said Ellmers. "I'm not in that position."

Here are our numbers in two interactive spreadsheets:

Government shutdown: Senators gets paid, but who's keeping their paycheck?

Government shutdown: House gets paid, but who's keeping their paycheck?


Filed under: Congress • Government Shutdown
soundoff (728 Responses)
  1. Data Driven

    Blah blah.

    Give me a phone call if everyone decides we need to repeal the 27th Amendment. Until then, this is a super-effective way to divert everyone's anger from where it properly needs to be focused on: the "tea party" cabal in the House and John Boehner who won't bring the clean CR to the House floor for a vote.

    October 3, 2013 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  2. Peace

    All of them 533 in number, don't deserve to receive even a single penny. They work for the government like others who have been furloughed. If they are sticking on the constitution which allow them to be paid, the same constitution doesn't allow them to choose which law to fund or to defund once it has been passed. Folks wake up, they can not let people who put them in power suffer and themselves continue with their daily leisure life. No way! This must be rejected.

    October 3, 2013 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  3. lolo

    The Tea Partiers are not giving up their salaraies that's for sure. They love the perks, but don't want anyone else to get them. Cowards!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 3, 2013 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  4. Name. Elizabeth

    I think they are using my SSI money for other people. Send me a check for all the money in my acct. and then I do not have to deal with those idiots in the gov't. I believe the check would be for approx. 200 thousand dollars. Now they are telling me they do not haven money, to pay me . I am a baby boomer remember the late 1960s. We will again become radical and start protesting and you know start burning buildings down ie Washington. Send me my check!. And close my acct. then I am DONE with the idiots in Washington!

    October 3, 2013 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  5. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Where's Rep King from N.Y?
    Did I miss his name under the "Not accepting" or "Donating"?
    Let me take a third look....

    October 3, 2013 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  6. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Did I also miss Pelosi, Boehner, McConnell, Reid the so-called leadership of both houses.
    Let me take a fourth look....

    October 3, 2013 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  7. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    We need to cut their pensions. Looking for waste? Look no further than Capitol Hill.

    October 3, 2013 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  8. CMT

    I'd be far more interested to see how much each are donating.

    October 3, 2013 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  9. DERASA

    I don't see TED CRUZ no accepting his check....

    October 3, 2013 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  10. John Doe

    Donate to charity? So what, they get a tax write off on top of it? Dont accept your pay or give to the treasury!

    October 3, 2013 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  11. Aaron S

    Paul Ryan is a Senator?? Am I mistaken?? I thought he was a Congressman...

    October 3, 2013 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  12. Badva

    What a joke! By them donating their pay checks, is that supposed to make us feel better about them? Are they now "feeling the pain" that others feel who make a fraction of what they make? By donating their checks, don't they still get to right them off on their taxes?

    October 3, 2013 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  13. ann

    aren't most of them millionaires? Is it really a sacrifice for them?

    October 3, 2013 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  14. Jason

    Will there be a way to verify those who "said" they were going to donate? Will CNN do some fact checking around tax time?

    October 3, 2013 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  15. Bella may

    What about Ted Cruz

    October 3, 2013 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  16. Rudy NYC

    I find it interesting that as of this moment, Senator Ted Cruz' name does not appear on any of the Senate lists.

    October 3, 2013 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  17. Anonymous

    Seeing is believing it is easier for a poor man to enter heaven than a tax collector

    October 3, 2013 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  18. jpmichigan

    Grand jester! If we keep the government closed, donations of paychecks by the stupidity of those who caused it, we may make some sort of dent in the fiscal debit!!! But sorry folks it's just a jester, a POLITICAL JESTER>

    October 3, 2013 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  19. Hman360

    CNN, if you're going to post lists, especially with headings, at least make sure those heading make sense. It's nice to see who's doing what, but this is put together absolutely terribly.

    October 3, 2013 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  20. Stevetehwonderman

    When did John A. Yarmuth, D-Kentucky and Andy Barr, R-Kentucky join the senate....Or how did Kentucky gain 2 extra Senators?

    October 3, 2013 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  21. Kaitlin

    David Cicillini (RI) is not a senator – hes a congressman and you have him under the Senate not accepting list....

    October 3, 2013 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  22. Gregory Custer

    There is at least one error in your list for the senate. Phil Gingrey, listed under the senate, is a member of the House of Representatives.

    October 3, 2013 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  23. Phillip

    Donating to the treasury department? That's a total cop-out. We all know the treasury department will just return the check. The treasury department does NOT accept unsolicited money, in no capacity. It has to account for a very specific reason as to why the treasury department is receiving the money, and "returning it" is not one of them.

    Do not be fooled by any congressman who says they're returning it to the Treasury. It's merely a symbolic gesture, and really does nothing at all.

    October 3, 2013 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  24. Kaitlin

    sorry – your other categories are not bolded missed the house

    October 3, 2013 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  25. gypsytoo

    donating their checks to charity gives them a tidy deduction come tax time. give it back to the treasury!

    October 3, 2013 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
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