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

    This what happens when you elect lawyers to run the country.
    Lawyer are trained to prepetuate problems not solve them.
    And it starts with the POTUS. (it's worse if you're a law professor)
    Let's pass a law that prohits lawyers from holding any public office.
    OOPs ......sorry that's right, lawyers would have to pass the law.
    And if they did then the SCOTUS (more lawyers) would overturn the law.
    So I guess that wont happen!!!

    October 3, 2013 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  2. Sane Person

    Must be nice to not even need your paycheck.

    October 3, 2013 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  3. Kathy

    AMERICA does Not Want Obama Care !!!
    Let it Go and let the US get back to life Mr President , Stop blaming the Republicans the People have a Voice !
    LET OBAMA CARE DEFUND and END

    October 3, 2013 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  4. beevee

    Even here it is politics as usual. if the congressional members want to suffer equally alongwith the unpaid federal employees they should not accept any salary during the shutdown. Those who are accepting their salaries and say they are giving it to charity or some noble cause are still playing politics with this kind of gesture. If they have noble intentions they should not accept any salary during shutdown. I admire those that are not taking any.

    October 3, 2013 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  5. ben helmick

    how about the fact congress and obama are exempt at this time from obamacare and the fact that its illegal for any law that exempts our goverment body from the same rules they make for us?

    October 3, 2013 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  6. Scott Cisney

    II want to say this again, and please just consider this. If you want the shutdown to end, and raise the debt ceiling before the last minute, here is what will work, but YOU have to do this. Many of you live in republican controlled congressional districts. Districts that the republicans consider "safe". SAFE means the congressman/woman thinks they will win re-election no matter what. GOOGLE your congressperson and find his/her e-mail. Send them an e-mail and tell them you are going to vote for their democratic opponent next fall because of this fiasco, UNLESS they end it now with no strings attached. You may not intend to actually do this, maybe you are a real hard core republican, but tell them that anyway, it will get their attention. The power is in your hands to end this manufactured crises within a day or two.

    October 3, 2013 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  7. Trey

    We should mail our bills to Congress.

    October 3, 2013 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  8. USCitizen

    Where's Mr. President on this list???

    October 3, 2013 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  9. Colin

    Scott Rigell, R-Virginia is a representative, not a senator

    October 3, 2013 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  10. Tina C.

    Nearly half of Congress are millionaires already.

    Also, according to OpenSecrets.org:

    "In 2010, the year of the most recently released financial data, the estimated median net worth of a current U.S. senator stood at an average of $2.63 million*, according to the Center's research."

    October 3, 2013 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  11. sosdn

    USCitizen said "What about Ted Cruz?" Uh, check the list again, he's there under senators not taking their paycheck.

    October 3, 2013 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  12. Charles

    Senate not accepting vs House not accepting.
    Wow House is for the people!!!!

    October 3, 2013 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  13. Karina

    During the last few years America has lost trust and credibility around the world under this current administration.
    Obama should have reached across the aisle a long time ago like every President had to do before him , somebody should have reminded him that after winning an election you become the leader of all Americans. Instead , he saw himself as the Monarch of the land .
    This attitude has fostered the expansion of the extreme right and left of both parties and created the problems you see today.They are digging in their feet and run on the cocept ' my way or no way'.
    Vote them all out at their next election and bring some fresh and competent minds to Washington.

    October 3, 2013 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  14. sean

    cnn will fit right in with the politicians....they've got the whole thing wrong !!

    October 3, 2013 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  15. Mickey chesky

    It is a disgrace, those involved in creating the shut down should be terminated immediately therefore salaries should not be an issue.

    October 3, 2013 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  16. ydoca

    All funds due Congress during this period of national shame should be spent to re-open National Parks and military commissaries.

    October 3, 2013 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  17. What about the rest

    What about the rest of them? At last count there are 100 senators, this list only includes 36. That is only 1/3+3 of the entire chamber.

    How about the House? All are not listed there either.

    October 3, 2013 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  18. Obama should donate his paycheck

    Obama needs to donate his paycheck. You should not get paid for whining all the time.

    October 3, 2013 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  19. Col B

    I'll bet the White House Chef is still getting a pay check as part of the "essential" workforce. Why not have Michelle do the cooking for several weeks? She could teach the kids what a kitchen is ........

    October 3, 2013 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  20. Madison

    It is time for the 99% to claim maximum deductions (13) for one month! Who is in charge folks? One month is all it would take, heck two weeks......would get them to pay attention.

    October 3, 2013 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  21. David

    Rubbish they can afford to skip a check with how much they make while many federal workers can not.

    October 3, 2013 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  22. Gary

    Forget the pay. Make them give up their Healthcare.

    October 3, 2013 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  23. Nick Lauer - Ohio (conservative democrat)

    Has anyone heard of "taxation without representation"? Any member of congress refusing to sit down and hash this out until settled, but is still cashing their paycheck, is guilty and should be removed from office and prosecuted. I better get a tax break for the time these babies are crying and wasting and the damage it is causing to my annuity.

    October 3, 2013 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  24. Lance

    Sure, they are donating their salary... and for what? So, they can claim in when it's time to file for the income tax. They really are not giving it away. They are just masking it so, they would "look" good in the eyes of others. While others suffer, they have the audacity to say, "I donated my paycheck to charity." By the way, which charity did they donated to? Is that the same one they created for their own benefit?
    People wake up!!! Our elected officials are robbing us blind!!!

    October 3, 2013 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  25. shante's mom

    Vote out Ted Cruz and his cronies! Shame, Shame, Shame!

    October 3, 2013 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
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