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. Pam

    You know these guys make so much money, it's really not that big a concession on their part!

    October 3, 2013 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  2. Maria

    Those of the House and the Senate who do not want their checks in solidarity of the furloughed workers. I suggest that they take that money and pay workers who are hard hit, by a closure that's their doing. They are not doing anyone any favor by not accepting a check. Give it to workers in need.

    October 3, 2013 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  3. Ben Pearce

    By my count it looks like California has about 6 senators. Might wanna spot-check your lists before publishing them ;)

    October 3, 2013 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  4. ann

    I don't see reed, pelosi, boehner, or mcconnell.... shouldn't they be the first to put their hats in the rint?

    October 3, 2013 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  5. ben

    yea, that totally makes up for not being able to function as a government. everything is fine now.

    October 3, 2013 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  6. pk

    They shouldn't even have a choice in what to do with their salaries..these guys should have their pay held just like mine will be held...of course they're all millionaires so they won't be devastated like we will.

    October 3, 2013 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  7. Afroed Ninja

    Lets just fix the mess and stop the drama, please!

    October 3, 2013 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  8. Todd

    You weren't even close, CNN. Ann Wagner is not the Senator from Maryland; she is a Representative from Missouri.

    October 3, 2013 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  9. Jonathan

    Errata: Both Joaquin Castro and Bill Flores are representatives from Texas, not senators. The senators from Texas are Ted Cruz and John Cornyn.

    October 3, 2013 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  10. bonnie

    Federal workers should be protected by the same law. Political disagreements are, causing not just 800,000 but their families as well, worries and hardships. These little meetings they are have are a waste of time. Sit down and come out with a solution asap.

    October 3, 2013 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  11. lroy

    Even though I do not support the Democrats (who have brought on this mess themselves with a terrible law that should never have been written I do have respect for those who are giving their own high-priced paycheck.

    October 3, 2013 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  12. Lib

    What difference does it make? Most of these people are millionaires who can afford to go without a check or two. We can't. As for donating to charity, don't you get a tax write off for that? These people are not fooling anyone. They can easily do without a check or two. We can't What they need to do is donate their time to doing their jobs so other people can go to work. The ACA Is already a law and it is time to move on. To hold the country up just for something as petty as the ACA which is a law already and is in effect is ridiculous.

    October 3, 2013 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  13. David Rankin

    Why no list for house members donating?

    October 3, 2013 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  14. Eddie Quinn

    Robert Pittinger is not a Senator from North Carolina. Richard Burr (R) and Kay Hagan (D) are the Senators representing North Carolina! If you are going to report news, report it accurately! Personally, I don't want a bunch of pencil pushing bureaucrats involved in what to me should be strictly a patient/doctor decision! The fact that there various departments are listing so many as "non-essentials" is proof that the government is too big!

    October 3, 2013 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  15. Andrew Small

    I'm glad to see they still have their tax plans in place. Gotta have those write-offs. Great story CNN. Compelling and Rich.

    October 3, 2013 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  16. Julie Labrouste

    I'm anxiously and excitedly awaiting collapse, revolution and/or civil war. Note: On another story, about banker CEOs, I do suggest most earnestly that they stay out of the public eye, particularly those of Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, etc.

    October 3, 2013 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  17. bob

    How about doing an article on what really happened last time to federal employees. I was a federal employee during last shutdown. We got a week off and then were paid after the dust settled. It really worked out for a week vacation for the entire workfore with a great deal of worry for those living from paycheck to paycheck but all a week off and paid for it. Crazy.

    October 3, 2013 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  18. Unlo4

    It costs millions to run a campaign to get in office. I doubt this paycheck is really any significant factor in their personal finances.

    October 3, 2013 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  19. Nametammy greene

    What bout the American do yall care but want go cross seas and help them. Need take care of us wethe people take csre if u usa

    October 3, 2013 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  20. Granite State

    New Hampshire where are your pay checks going?

    October 3, 2013 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  21. Joe

    It could be just a thought, but despite the shutdown, Congress is still working, and long into the night. Both sides are deadlocked by their beliefs, but at least they're working.

    October 3, 2013 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  22. Padraig

    I am disgusted to the point of nausea that the teabaggers in the GOP would exploit sick children in an effort to embarrass the Democratic leadership in the U.S. Senate while ignoring all the hundreds of thousands of American children who will go hungry and all of the parents who will do without so their children can eat while the Republicans in thie house callously refuse to fund food assistance programs and leave 800,000 hard-working civil servants without a paycheck so they can throw yet another tantrum over Obamacare. These vile right-wing ideologues are sick people who would sacrifice those they purport to serve in order to placate those they really serve... the moneyed special interests who despise our government and our American way of life.

    October 3, 2013 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  23. talldarkfree

    So, after reviewing quite carefully, I see that Cruz is not responding? Interesting you teatrolls! Why don't you give your leader a call?

    October 3, 2013 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  24. Discussed American

    How about giving them to the furloughed employees so we can pay our bills!!

    October 3, 2013 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  25. al

    Lets all ask Obama and his administration to give their paycheck to the Treasury to bring down the $7 Trillion debt of Obama. Think our President will lead the way. ???....NO WAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He is a community organizer

    October 3, 2013 10:07 am at 10:07 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