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. rb1949

    A meaningless gesture. These clowns are all rich enough where they don't need the money anyway.

    October 3, 2013 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  2. The REAL Truth...

    @Obama should donate his paycheck – Obama needs to donate his paycheck. You should not get paid for whining all the time.
    --------------------------
    Let's not forget that the GOP has been on a 5-yr long tantrum. Ever since Obama passed their healthcare legislation (yes folks, ACA is predominantly a conservative plan, hatched by the Heritage Foundation and implemented in MA), the very legislation the GOP has been trying to implement (up to and including the individual mandate they tried to get the SCOTUS to repeal, and the dissolution of Medicare) for the last 30 yrs.
    Of course, if it actually works as intended, it makes no difference if the GOP members of Congress return their paychecks or not.. there'll be nothing to feed to the sheeple come the next election. Explains why they need to blame Obama.

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

    what about the staffers, are they paid? what will it cost to alter the computerized payments which probably go directly to their banks....really.

    October 3, 2013 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  4. Mr_Unknown

    For those lawmakers who were unaware that they still received checks while the government is shut down, it shows their lack of knowledge. A decision should have been reached before the new fiscal year to avoid this incident...

    October 3, 2013 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  5. ashamed of our congress

    Why are we allowing one person ...Boehner to control this country where is the outrage?

    October 3, 2013 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  6. Mike

    Talk about the short end of the stick, I am an "esential personnel" for the National park service, and I still have to work even though I wont get a pay check till this is all over. And I still have to pay taxes.

    October 3, 2013 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  7. Kat

    I am sure they can afford it. However, what is not being discussed is their are more government employees working the "essential jobs" with out pay and with no guarentee we will get retro pay in the future! Why is this fact no being reported on.

    October 3, 2013 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  8. Jon

    Is this article and what they are doing with their money intended to make us feel better? Honestly, who cares? I am one of those furloughed workers who live paycheck to paycheck. That's news! Start reporting about who is really affected by this!

    October 3, 2013 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  9. freedom

    What's Obama doing with HIS salary? And who's paying for his upcoming trip to Asia in Air Force One? Isn't he embarrassed to show up anywhere with his government at home not functioning? No shame. And this "law of the land" rhetoric is dictatorial. Once again, you are not a dictator!! Go to another country and rule, and leave us alone!

    October 3, 2013 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  10. grampajim

    I for one, am impressed by what a lot are doing, and being able to write off their gifts as charity is not allowed in all 50 states. And so what if it was, it's still very honorable to give their whole paycheck away. I just want to thank them for doing it, some of them are not so rich that it won't have an impact on their daily lives.

    October 3, 2013 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  11. shelley

    Hey fellow Americans...don't you just LOVE our system of government? Yeah....the one where two opposing parties do nothing but fight, waste their time....our money....and get absolutely nothing accomplished toward the good of our Republic? Think it's time for a good ole fashioned 1776 Revolution? I do.

    October 3, 2013 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  12. Steve

    LOL – they make 10 times that under the table – just some more 'window dressing'! Poor Babies!!

    October 3, 2013 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  13. Maria

    This provides to comfort, each of them is filthy rich already so this will not effect them at all!! I have a non profit that services people in need I will not see any of their donated money. That money will go to the branded non profits that have CEO's who make 7 figures or high 6 figures anyway. Who are they kidding. Fix this mess or the people need to fire all of them! Enough said.

    October 3, 2013 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  14. crazysmart

    As an immigrant, I dealry and greatly admire and respect all hard dedicating working people and professionlism both civil and military of the United States of America since I have settled in USA. I have been taking a notice of the recent years, especially the legislative body become increasingly malfunction and move toward ideology conflict. I hope this bitter bickering and messy happen will be gone when OBAMA leaves the office. Some people in congress don't like and are not happy whatever he has done. It seems that everything, which he has done so far is wrong.
    Good and wonderful thing about USA is that the military is professional and listening to only the current commander-in- chief. and despite the fighting and bitter bickering among ourselves, we come together when there is a crisis.
    we fight each other when there is no enemy to fight.

    October 3, 2013 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  15. Steve

    they make 10 times that under the table – just some more 'window dressing'! Poor Babies!!

    October 3, 2013 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  16. HeyHey

    If you just do what the Democrats tell you all of this could be avoided.... Just outlaw congress, the Democrats clearly are smarter and don't need this hassle...

    October 3, 2013 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  17. Timothy M

    Disgusting that Tom Coburn, R-Oklahoma, is accepting his paycheck in full. What work does he think he's doing at the moment? Even Cruz, who is not the brightest bulb in the bunch, was smart enough to not accept his check.

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

    To arms, republican patriots!! Enough with our stated aim to shut it down, the time has come to BRING down the government and preserve our Precious Liberty from further attacks by the Kenyan communist anti-christ!!!

    Read your bible: the time is ripe for CIVIL WAR!!!!!!!!!!

    October 3, 2013 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  19. Lisa

    It's very easy to say you'll donate it but let's see some proof. CNN please request the name of the charity so they can be held accountable. And it better not be the Human Fund...

    October 3, 2013 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  20. vonn

    Judgment day will not come soon enough for these crooks..

    October 3, 2013 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  21. Jeff

    Donating salaries by rich politicians means nothing. They are not serving for the money. They are serving for what other advantages they can get by being in control. There are politicians that are not rich and need their pay. CNN should know better!

    October 3, 2013 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  22. Gene

    CNN is a bogus media outlet and few people disseminate the lies they report. The Republicans are trying to blackmail the American people. They are trying to cherry pick what organizations they allow to function. Dana Bash who has the intellect if a fly tried to trick Harry Reid knowing perfectly well, that the Dems are fighting extortion using a question about kids. This closet republican needs to get a job at Fox, and take Jessica with her. Not all viewers are intellectually challenged. She and her peers have insurance. Stop the tactics CNN. Too many uninformed people falsely believe you are a real news organization. I watch enough other news to see the truth.

    October 3, 2013 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  23. asgdfs

    Republicans feel that it is responsible for them to give government funded healthcare(NIH) to 30 children so they can have access to experimental drugs that may or may not work. But, they want to shut down obamacare which will give millions of children access to healthcare and drugs that have already been proven successful.

    Next you will see republican congressmen running around asking why the "government", not realizing they are the government, shut down the national parks...oh wait, these people really are clueless.

    October 3, 2013 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  24. Erica

    Who cares?! Obama is a joke. Leave the government shutdown. This administration makes me sick and what they have turned our country into makes me sick.

    October 3, 2013 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  25. darth's daughter

    That is a big ars sky with no one watching because there isn't money for NASA due to the free corvettes, trucks, cars, etc., etc. aka the government hand out aka free political presents!

    October 3, 2013 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
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