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. mph

    Empty gesture. How does this get me back to work? I wonder if this the way these parents teach their kids to resolve differences.

    October 3, 2013 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  2. Brad

    Keep your paychecks, Congress.

    To the people: if you had an employee that continually failed to perform their basic job functions, what would you do? Fire them, of course. Well, we are the ones that hired these people. A Congress that can't perform its basic duties is an irrelevant Congress. As a whole they are not working together, and as a whole they are not working out. So as a whole, in the next elections, we need to fire each and every one of them regardless of party. Actions have consequences, and We The People are the ones who can effect those consequences.

    October 3, 2013 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  3. Becky

    Congress is full of greedy, uncaring people. They still get paid during all of this, plus exempt themselves from the stupid ObamaDoesn'tCare health scam.

    October 3, 2013 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  4. Pip

    Those who donate will just turn around and claim it on their taxes and get it back anyway...

    October 3, 2013 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  5. taking the cake

    Stop in-fighting and sign something! We the people have deserved more from you for a very long time. This isn't an us or them country, you are making it that way and you have to stop. or you can get used to no paycheck at all.

    October 3, 2013 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  6. Call me by my first name, Sergeant!

    Ted "dr. seuss" Cruz shouldn't even have the choice of whether or not he is accepting his check. He needs to be FIRED.

    October 3, 2013 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  7. Nina

    More stuff and nonsense from inside the beltway. Storm the Bastille, and run all them–every single one of them–out on a rail.

    October 3, 2013 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  8. Name. Wayne avery

    Where is mc Morris Rogers in the paycheck line

    October 3, 2013 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  9. Kent M

    I'm just wondering when the next GOV shutdown will occur, when the Tea-POTs want to kicking evolution out of the classrooms, or when they want to negate the abortion question, or because they simply didn't get their person elected when they wanted. Whatever the case, they will take their ball and go home... but still get a paycheck, or the benefits from being able to donate it away.

    October 3, 2013 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  10. Anisa

    Are you kidding me CNN? Do you thing these people really care about that paycheck? No not at all. they have millions of dollars in their saving accounts and dont even care if that poor who voted for them is sick, dont have dinner for his/her kids and .....

    October 3, 2013 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  11. Name Glen

    It's Avery simple thing to d0

    October 3, 2013 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  12. Corinne Corley

    They should donate their pay to furloughed and unpaid workers affected by the shutdown. They caused this loss of income for 800,000 federal workers, they should help prevent the financial hardship it will cause.

    October 3, 2013 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  13. WillieB

    Nope...they're likely to moderate that one, too. Can't have the truth exposed on the CNN message boards. :-(

    October 3, 2013 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  14. robyn

    At least they got to decide what they were going to do with their pay. 800,000 + don't have a choice.

    October 3, 2013 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  15. Dee

    Thank you, CNN, for keeping an eye on our congresspeople and their pay! And, by all means, continue to update the list! It'll be invaluable in voting out the monsters who refuse to take the same medicine they're dishing out to the country's citizenry. It you have the time, it would be great if it could be sorted alphabetically by last name and also by state. It also would be great if CNN could publish a list of those who affiliated with the Tea Party since they deliberately started and designed the fight to inflict maximum damage.

    October 3, 2013 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  16. JohnnyB

    We should have a poison pill where budget must be met at least 6 months prior to possible shut down of government or else an immediate election is required for all Senate seats where no incumbent is eligible for another two terms. No one should be getting paid under the current formulation either.

    October 3, 2013 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  17. A Jensen

    I just found out that the lake I live on will be closed this weekend due to the shutdown. Thanks Steve Womack and other members of congress for not doing your job. But I see that you are still getting paid. Seeing how we, the tax payers, are paying you salary, are fed up with what you are NOT doing to ensure that "We The People" still have a voice in government.

    October 3, 2013 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  18. sjboylen

    Since i'm furloughed...does this mean i dont have to pay Taxes, Technically Goverment is SHUTDOWN

    October 3, 2013 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  19. Michael

    Congress is playing the "Golden Rule" game ... them that have the gold are making the rules. Congress passed a law that says they'll continue to get paid. Congress passed a law giving them retirement until death once they are sworn in. Congress passed a law excluding themselves from the ACA (and, it seems, any law they force we mere mortals to abide). CONGRESS IS THE PROBLEM. We, the people, have the authority and responsibility to throw all the bums out. This whole fiasco is manufacturered and makes me ill. The Klingon language has a word meaning "worthless" which applies to Congress: P'taK ...

    October 3, 2013 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  20. Tampa Tim

    Huge Johnson – why are you right wingnuts always posting about envy of others private parts? Size problem?

    October 3, 2013 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  21. Jeff

    CNN is no better than FOX, MSNBC, etc. There is no more news; only gossip media. I tried to watch yesterday, and each would interupt statements for their "experts" lol to tell their "view." This is a bias story. The real need is for Congress to pass a clean CR and get the government running. The issue of donating salaries is a talk show gimmic. This shows not only a lack of intelligence in Congress, but also one in the press.

    October 3, 2013 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  22. Name Glen

    It's very simple,easy, and done many many times before. Stop making it a political issue and do your jobs.

    October 3, 2013 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  23. Rick Perry

    The ones giving to charity get to write it off on their taxes, so they still gain from it. If I failed in completing my job like they are, I would be fired, regardless of which party I belong to... They should all be replaced the next time they come up for election, and they should only be allowed to be in office for two terms like the president, and if they fail to do their job, their should be some quick way to remove them, faster then the impeachment process, and since they are all rich, penalize them for the tax payer money that they have waisted, maybe that would make them work together a little better, but I doubt it...

    October 3, 2013 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  24. Malory Archer

    Huge Johnson

    The greater question is...WHY IS THE MAJORITY OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT MADE UP OF NON-ESSENTIAL PERSONNEL? IT'S A WASTE OF MONEY, AND ACTUALLY SOUNDS LIKE A MAFIA

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Perhaps you should educate yourself with the definition of "essential personnel" prior to posting. While the janitor who cleans your congresscritter isn't "essential" to getting legislation passed, they're still necessary. Same holds true for administrative staff, tour guides & docents, shuttle drivers and dog walkers just to name a few.

    October 3, 2013 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  25. Tom

    We are the largest debtor nation on Earth. If we keep going on we will not be earthly.

    October 3, 2013 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
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