CNN keeps count: Congress gets paid, but who's keeping their paycheck?
October 3rd, 2013
09:25 AM ET
6 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. This is DUMB and all Show

    This is all for show and it is really dumb. For starters, when the government reopens the first thing done will be to give all the retroactive pay to federal workers – Harry Reid has already said he would do this. The Dems did this the last 2 times the government shut down. So all 800,000 will have gotten a paid vacation at the expense and pain of Americans.

    Rather than this nonsense how about TERM LIMITS and no pensions and lifetime benefits for health ( which by the way are exempt from the Obama-care law)

    October 3, 2013 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  2. Azezel

    I am concerned about the deleveraging cycle that this could cause and the amount the debt ceiling will have to be raised just to get confidence back in the commercial credit markets. We started seeing a sharp drop in orders because of this 2 months ago where I work. I work at a major food producer... On the bright side. Scares like this usually raise the savings rate which helps with the leveraging cycle in generating economic activity and growth. Ive gone from not being a saver at 25 to saving 25% at 26.

    October 3, 2013 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  3. belle'smom

    where's Boehner on this list??? Still trying to decide, most likely.

    October 3, 2013 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  4. Anonymous

    I am sure these "Donations" will be written off come tax season....

    October 3, 2013 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  5. Sizzle

    Chris Coons is a senator from Delaware, not Maryland. God, CNN's information is just SO thoroughly researched.

    October 3, 2013 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  6. Sarah silverman

    They should all resign, it's not like they are getting shit done any other time anyway

    October 3, 2013 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  7. luigi leone

    NO Senator oh Congressman need to get pay only the 4 member of the senator and house the one that go in conference WITH THE PRESIDENT we don't need to pay all the rest of them when his Government shout down

    October 3, 2013 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  8. tamika

    they should all donate them to the WIC program some babies and kids may go hungry during this time because vouchers are not being issued so for the kids out of vouchers and milk what is the recourse. I know I couldn't afford baby formula 16 years ago I can only imagine the cost of milk now. Congress should be ashamed

    October 3, 2013 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  9. Bostongal

    That's all well and good, however let's remember that this was their choice to refuse or donate their paychecks. It was not the choice of American people to forego getting paychecks and paying their bills. I'm sure that they still have plenty of money to put food on their tables and pay their bills....how many American's will go hungry this week and how many will not be able to pay their bills...this needs to be FIXED!

    October 3, 2013 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  10. NoName

    Meanwhile, the average American couldn't go without a single paycheck or else they would starve, default on education loans and mortgages...

    October 3, 2013 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  11. Amanda

    Donating is good, but it is a tax write off. So they are getting another break! Shame on you!

    The ones not accepting is doing the right things! Good job to you!

    October 3, 2013 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  12. rs

    Anonymous

    We need to protest outside the White House against Obama. Enough's Enough! I'm so sick and tired of his 'it's my way or the highway'.
    _________________________
    Use your brain. Who is holding the budget hostage? Why, that would be the GOP- who cannot even work out a bill amongst themselves.

    October 3, 2013 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  13. Roger Cain

    Obama is still getting his check too. Nice to neglect reporting that fact. Either he is utterly irrelevant to the process or he is part of the problem. His argument that he won the election so he should get 100% of what he demands is persuasive. Just as persuasive as the House of Representatives arguing that they won an election and should get 100% of what they want. This isn't the end of the world crisis the media describes. It is called checks and balances. Compromise means that both parties give a little.

    October 3, 2013 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  14. anonymous

    These types of stories make me angry as a fed who is not getting paid. Why don't they donate their paychecks to the 800,000 feds who are not getting one right now? I don't care if they are donating it to charity that does not help me get my paycheck so I can donate to the charity of my choosing.

    October 3, 2013 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  15. FedUp47

    House (keeping):
    Danny K. Davis, D-Illinois
    Todd Rokita, R-Indiana
    William "Lacy" Clay Jr., D-Missouri
    Howard Coble, R-North Carolina

    Well, I know one Indiana Republican who WILL NOT get my vote.... TODD ROKITA

    October 3, 2013 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  16. maichaelwesta

    of course. that's the first thing they passed.

    October 3, 2013 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  17. wanalawn

    It should be pointed out that they are still working.

    October 3, 2013 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  18. Logan

    Why is the media not pounding the president and congressional members on, "if the program(s) are so good for the "people" why isn't it good for all (congressional members) as well?" Everyone says it, but it is never yetted on the air.

    October 3, 2013 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  19. JM

    Why are they donating a paycheck they aren't earning, it's not theirs to donate.

    October 3, 2013 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  20. Chris

    Last I checked, Congress is still working, correct? I'd rather they be paid and do their job, then be furloughed at this point. You may not be satisfied with their job performance, but you can address that at the next election. CNN like most of the liberal media outlets is doing everything they can to villianize congress....by blaming congress, the President doesn't have to shoulder any responsibility.

    October 3, 2013 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  21. Mark Melrose

    I can't help but wonder if President Obama had to run for re-election would he be so uncompromising. He should treat the Tea Party like any spoiled child and give them something that won't hurt anyone and keep the peace, who's the adult here?

    October 3, 2013 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  22. sweaver

    nice to see that they are "undecided" in all the decisions they make. Pathetic.

    October 3, 2013 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  23. Name

    Pay us back congress and mr. President by retiring early

    October 3, 2013 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  24. AWCII

    Really? How many members of Congress actually rely on their paycheck? My wife is working for free at a medical clinic on an Army base (she may get back pay), I am sitting at home wondering when I can go back to work. We need our paychecks. (for the record, my wife is an assistant – she works harder than the doctors do, for much less, I served 23 years, one month, and 12 days on active service in the Army with multiple "vacations" to Iraq/Afghanistan. Imagine what would have happened if I had stopped doing my job.....

    October 3, 2013 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  25. chris

    Stupid Senators!!!

    October 3, 2013 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
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