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. America1st

    And to think, people are not getting rescued, medical research centers are closed, Parks are closed, safety and inspection centers are closed, and GOP tea anarchists, PEOPLE ARE DYING because of this shut down. QUIT PLAYING GAMES with the lives of Americans. By the end of the week, your antics will have killed more Americans than Osama Bin Laden.

    October 3, 2013 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  2. Anonymous

    Wow, multimillionnaire Ron Johnson of Wisconsin is on the list. How generous, after all, it's not about the money for him. How about the public employees on furlough? or the families depending on WIC to eat?

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

    Mike Lee said yesterday he was keeping his check because he was working. He changed his mind only because his constituents called him out on it. Looks like his "15 minutes of fame" is going to last only one terms because even the Utah GOPers hate him now.

    October 3, 2013 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  4. ricardo

    who cares if they are senators or representatives? the focus is that these people still get paid while they play with ppls livelyhood, they should work for free all the time anyway, most of them are already rich

    October 3, 2013 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  5. GGP-NY

    I have a thought. All 533 + Pres + ... Should be at the top of non essential employees and should NOT get paid till they get things done.

    "Donations, Not accepting, Returning to Treasury, Undecided" = Government Double Speak (something that benefits me)

    October 3, 2013 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  6. Kenman

    And GREAT, the President is once again on the campaign trail, will surround himself with lemmings that they screen and promise face time on tv, so that he can get his necessary dose of adoration while the nation hangs.

    This whole administration has done little more effectively than to stroke the ego of this incompetent narcissist!

    October 3, 2013 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  7. Cindy

    Why don't they give their paycheck to the people that need it..Like mother's that formula for baby's? Some where that it really needs to be donated

    October 3, 2013 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  8. RandomReader

    Multiple people in this are attributed to the wrong house of congress or the wrong state... Something which is easy to check with a quick Internet search, generally.

    October 3, 2013 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  9. Peacemaker

    Does not make any sense. Why do they het paid for shtting down govt.

    October 3, 2013 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  10. ACONCERNED CITIZEN

    What about the President...How much is he getting parid and is there any talk where he might be donating some of his money?

    October 3, 2013 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  11. NameT.P

    What about the govt workers who work for treasury and provide income to the govt. IRS
    Are theg serious....opening some stupid parks and monuments when real workers are out of work?
    This is the craziest thing...and what are these congressme donating? Their entire salary or a pittanc

    October 3, 2013 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  12. anchorite

    This is such an idiotic topic. The Tea Party is keeping their paychecks because they think that destroying our country IS their job, so they're not sitting around at all, they're hard at work wrecking the place. I don't care who in Congress gets paid or not. They can't trash the ACA that the entire country wants.

    October 3, 2013 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  13. RL

    Big Whoop, they are donating their checks. They shouldn't be getting paid! They are not doing the jobs that were elected to do. They should all resign. I am embarrassed by our governments behavior. How can other countries respect us and fear us, if our idiot representatives cannot get along and work things out. Our government is a joke.

    October 3, 2013 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  14. DZenn

    How many people in the United States can afford to donate their entire check to charity?? Really!!

    October 3, 2013 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  15. Lardeau

    That subject is unimportant. Just FIX the problems please !!! THAT is your responsibility. The way it is right now the whole works of you are failures. You were elected to manage the Country – and here it is SHUT DOWN – BROKE – OUT OF MONEY – AND OUT OF CREDIT. WHAT A SORRY RECORD !!!!!!! And don't just up the credit limit and start the whole thing over again. CHANGES to the system must be made. Break the chains the Banks have around the Country. No more Fed - no more Reserve Banking.

    October 3, 2013 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  16. Ralph

    Why does CNN not publish the fact that President Obama also continues to get paid? Whose bidding are you doing?

    October 3, 2013 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  17. Anonymous

    In regards to those not accepting a paycheck, are they going to get their pay back once the shutdown is over? If they are what the hell is the difference?

    October 3, 2013 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  18. Anonymous

    Look at the smirk on Reids face in the photo on the headline , it's says it all, this shutdown is an Obama/Reid election ploy, plain and simple. They are disgusting.

    October 3, 2013 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  19. Kari

    Those donating to charity will get a tax write off.

    October 3, 2013 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  20. Silver Back

    The time has come to get rid of the worthless politicians. Anyone that keeps their pay or currently undecided at this time needs to go. As an elected official they are not doing there jobs, take an average person off the street that had to work for a living, knows how to balance a check book and they can tell you that you can't spend more than you make. Now is the time to make those hard choices because all they (you) are doing now is hurting us, "CITIZENS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICIA"

    October 3, 2013 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  21. Catgravy

    So the people who caused (or at least could have prevented) this still get paid?? They got paid for not doing their job. Remember this folks when it comes time for elections!!!

    October 3, 2013 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  22. terry

    27th amendment needs to be canceled. Senator and congressmen should not get federal salaries, but should get paid from their states where they got Elected from. This way when they have to go to washington they know their pay depends on their state to pay them, and maybe they will want to work and get things accomplished while in washington. This goes as well for their retirements too. They were not hired by the government, but by their states. So what entitled them to a retirement pay paid by the country citizens.

    October 3, 2013 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  23. rad666

    I'll bet those that donate their paychecks will take a tax deduction.

    So, they will still get the advantage of a paycheck.

    October 3, 2013 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  24. RL

    I don't see Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio on the list of "donating" or "not accepting".

    October 3, 2013 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  25. Anonymous

    This is a non-issue, senators and congressman do not need the pay checks, they are already very rich. Please post something intelligent.

    October 3, 2013 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30