CNN keeps count: Congress gets paid, but who's keeping their paycheck?
October 3rd, 2013
09:25 AM ET
1 year 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. Name Ron

    It not the people falt why this is happening but we always get the worst of it . All we want to do is work and live the dream . I hope the bills understand

    October 3, 2013 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  2. Victor

    Congressional members don't make the majority of their income from their paycheck anyways. They are corrupt.

    October 3, 2013 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  3. Martin

    The government shuts down. Everyone's out of work, the countries in turmoil but "Congress gets paid," .. please raise your hand if you find this surprising.

    October 3, 2013 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  4. Abi

    NOTICE... most of them keeping their checks are REPUBLICANS! SHAME ON THEM!

    October 3, 2013 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  5. submaker

    they are the first that shouldnt be paid at all for not doing their jobs like they should for the people!!!

    October 3, 2013 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  6. Chris

    We need to replace 98% of the people in congress. Get some FRESH faces and ideas in. Nixon days are long gone

    October 3, 2013 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  7. Raj

    Why can't they open all the offices and cut the 20% or 30% for all the federal workers including Congressional people till they finish off the fight.

    October 3, 2013 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  8. Name HEART

    That's great to you all God will Bless you!!

    October 3, 2013 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  9. WillieB

    Sen Ted Cruz of TX was among the first to refuse his paycheck and volunteer it for charity instead. You *accidentally* left that out, right CNN?

    October 3, 2013 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  10. fedupwithamericanpolitics

    If the House Republicans do not want to do their job, they should all be fired. The Tea Party is holding America hostage and their threat needs to be neutralized. They are willing to destroy the Usa to get that african american out of their white plantation house.

    October 3, 2013 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  11. submaker

    These people are the first that shouldnt be paid at all, for not doing their job for us the people.

    October 3, 2013 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  12. grw57

    Not accepting their paycheck does not mean they will not receive it in the future...

    October 3, 2013 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  13. Kenman

    Why is anyone upset that, by law, Congress will keep getting paid? So will the President, and he's a party to this too!

    Also, this is just symbolic of the corruption of the Obamacare policy, where Congress and all their aides and government appointees are exempt from the rules of Obamacare as applied to the general citizenry; they are still getting their large subsidies (from the taxpayer) that citizens in their position are not!

    October 3, 2013 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  14. Name

    This is getting me all mixed up!!

    October 3, 2013 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  15. FedBlueCollarworker

    Is this supposed to make the 800,000 federal workers feel better. Congress doesn't rely completely on their salaries! They are not the ones that are still recovering from the very recent "Sequester"! This is just an attempt to make them look like decent people. Congress has no idea how badly they hurt the American people. The people that actually do the dirty work to keep this country running.
    They will understand when it comes to the next elections!

    October 3, 2013 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  16. Wow

    Now if this shut down affected their pay something tells me a shutdown would not have been an option

    October 3, 2013 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  17. JackN

    The American people should stop all this nonsens and FIRE every last one of them!
    They were put there to reperesent us, not put us in the streets with no pay checks. A loss of one check wont
    hurt them....They all have money hidden in Banks !

    October 3, 2013 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  18. Anonymous

    Thank goodness Obama has had no part of running this country into the ground...If it was not for Bush....we would not be in this situation.

    October 3, 2013 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  19. Andrew

    Who cares what they do with their paychecks? This situation occurred on all of their watches. I believe a message should be sent by not reelecting any Senators or Representatives who were in office during the shutdown. Both Democrats and Republicans are to blame. I for one will not vote for any incumbents in 2014 or any of the Senators who come up for reelection in 2016 or 2018.

    October 3, 2013 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  20. Kay

    I am not impressed at all. They should be getting the government open instead of showing how 'great' they are to the press by refusing or donating their pay. Their pay is our (taxpayers') money and as far as I am concerned, they are not earning it.

    October 3, 2013 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  21. ArmyWife

    I don't see John Boehner on this list! Surprise? Not in the least! Poor excuse for a government. If they're not "working" (government is shut down), then how are they still allowed to impose taxes on us???? If there was something in place where they couldn't tax us during s shutdown, then shut downs wouldn't happen... they'd make sure of it!

    October 3, 2013 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  22. Steve

    The ones donating their pay are probably the ones getting plenty of lobby money anyway. That's how government works, money buys off greed to get bills passed. They don't represent the people, they represent who ever gives them the most money. Their paycheck is peanuts compaired to the bribes they get.

    October 3, 2013 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  23. DukeAJuke

    It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong. Our system of government is broken beyond repair. It's time to start over folks.

    October 3, 2013 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  24. Ally Gaytor

    CNN can't get the right names with the correct office. Why should I believe anything else they write?

    October 3, 2013 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  25. Spectre

    How can we trust CNN as a news organization if they can not get a simple list like this correct?

    October 3, 2013 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
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