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

    TOM COBURN....I'm sure all Tinker AFB employees will remember your decision around election time. Just remember how your actions are affecting the Oklahoma families who won't even be able to pay their bills during this government shut down. Lets hope Karma catches up to you, as I'm sure it will.

    October 3, 2013 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  2. legal joke

    THE PRESIDENT should amend the talor law to end include these not NORMAL people elected by the people are clue less there in there world not ours. the talor law for which covers all public and inportant services etc takes TWO DAYS PAY FOR EACH DAY OUT!

    October 3, 2013 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  3. BC

    Lets think about the total compensation package for congress. What about the cost of their perks, such as body guards, parking, tansportation limo's, travel expense, entertainment expense, health care, staff members and etc. I agree, they will also get to deduct the charitable donations from their taxes, but what about the rest of the money they cost us.

    October 3, 2013 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  4. art

    This list is flawed, our states senator (Bill the weasel) Nelson is not listed. So how is this list supposed to be considered accurate. Sad thing is many of our representatives can afford to go without while their staffers can't.

    October 3, 2013 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  5. myreply

    These civil servants are supposed to be serving the people, not shutting down the government. I'm so annoyed and embarrassed by them. My family member is active duty and all his annual leave days are suddenly 'cancelled' due to this shutdown. Are the Congressmen and women's annual leave days also cancelled?

    October 3, 2013 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  6. Atlanta Archer

    I don't believe any of them

    October 3, 2013 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  7. legal joke

    PS fools dont give US a dec. date as exstension. stop your BS we need a real govtment not house of fools

    October 3, 2013 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  8. Disenchanted

    These cowards have the audacity to hide behind the cloak of charity. Shame on you. Just another ploy to try and save face in your foolish, childish political games you've been playing. Grow up or get out! You have ruined the middle class -all of you. After enduring 15 days of furloughs last fiscal year, no raises in 3 years, job abolishments across the board, this, and the looming fear of what's going to happen with our National debt in the coming weeks (our jobs and homes included) I can't fathom how you could dare to look government employees, or America, in the eyes. MY vote in future elections will be for whomever is NOT in office right now.

    October 3, 2013 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  9. John

    Their show of solidarity in giving back their paychecks would mean more if they were living paycheck to paycheck like most of America. Instead, rich guys giving back their play money to show that they "feel our pain" is just more political theater.

    October 3, 2013 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  10. Andrena

    I did not see Senator Harry Reid name on any list. What is he doing with his? None of them should get a pay check. Are you going to follow up and obtain proof that the ones who say they are donating actually do that? I don't trust any of them. And Obama is behaving like a spoiled child. It's my way or no way! Really?!!!

    October 3, 2013 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  11. Megan

    Go Texas representatives :) Probably the only state that has enough compassion and class.

    October 3, 2013 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  12. Bob Ramos

    Somethings to keep in mind – If you say that you are "not accepting", that means that the Treasury will hold it for you. After this nightmare is over, those under this category will have a large payday. Also, most members of Congress have other income from other sources. The people not getting paychecks largely do not.

    October 3, 2013 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  13. Bob Ramos

    AffectedOKIE......At least your Senator is condemning the House GOP for their actions. Ours are not.

    October 3, 2013 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  14. coyoteliberty

    Angus king of Maine can call himself anything he wants, but he's not a Democrat. He is 100% in the tank for Obama.

    The man SHOULD accept his paycheck and donate it to the treasury of the Styate of Maine, considering he left the state a billion dollars in the red after two terms as governor.

    October 3, 2013 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  15. Jim

    So if they donate their salary then that will be a really nice tax write off ?

    October 3, 2013 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  16. sharon zimmerman

    No elected official in Washington should receive a paycheck until they actually do what they are getting paid to do. So far they are wasting the taxpayers money, we are not paying them to do nothing so they can "donate" their pay to whom ever they want.

    October 3, 2013 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  17. Shemp

    What I want to know, who is keeping their government provided healthcare?

    October 3, 2013 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  18. Larry L

    The loss in productivity in both the private and public sectors will cost far more than anything saved by cheap, Tea Party political tricks. These guys have offered no ideas to fix the healthcare crisis – except popular cherry-picked provisions of Obamacare w/o any real mention of how they'd pay for those provisions. The Tea Party bigots have done a lot more harm to America than the 9/11 terrorists and continue to work against the American people. In 2014 we absolutely MUST throw out all Tea Party Republicans and all other gutless Republicans too afraid to stand up to them.

    October 3, 2013 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  19. TomNPitt

    Tom Coburn = Leading by Example !!

    October 3, 2013 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  20. afroblue

    I think the Democrats and Republicans who submitted a clean bill should keep their pay and those who wont agree on the bill should not get paid period. Here's the deal the ACA a law and when you don't like a law you change the law through legislation, ie., the Civil Rights Law, Voting Rights, Child Labor Laws, etc. Where any of those laws obtained by not funding the government? Did any of the congressman or senators say."unless you get rid of something from this law or that law we will not Fund the Government? If you don't like a law, fine, fight it if you must but at some other time. But don't use the American people as pawns.

    October 3, 2013 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  21. Laura Jacks

    Please do your research – it is not a forgone conclusion that is required by law that they take their paycheck. Legal scholars differ on the reading of the amendment, and now would be a perfect time for congress to vote to suspend their pay and get the question in front of the court for clarification. Compensation is an undefined term. And clearly, "No Law" has actually been passed. There is no predicate act. Can you PLEASE do the research.

    October 3, 2013 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  22. lB Colorado

    Paid – required by law – WOW, that is wrong on so many levels. Why haven't our Elected by People officials changing that bill? No perks for the public servants – know your position ladies and gentlemen. Either way, most of you that can be elected out will be – Good Lord Willing.

    October 3, 2013 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  23. dorothy

    It's become an embarrassment to be an American.

    October 3, 2013 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  24. Patrick

    Is the President still getting paid? Is his laundry and home still getting cleaned? What focus on Congress when the problem is with the two branches of government.

    October 3, 2013 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  25. Arun

    Who cares, they are still getting stuff from the lobysists!!

    October 3, 2013 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
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