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. afroblue

    And now we may be in danger of default once again because some will not do the right thing. That's like trying to negotiate with a credit card company after I made purchases by saying I'm not paying this bill until you change my interests rate. Really? They would look at me crossed-eyed.

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

    Darrell Issa, R-California , it's a tax deduction !

    October 3, 2013 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  3. SK

    Does "Donating" mean the whole paycheck, and they will be getting a tax receipt? Does "won't accept" paycheck mean they are deferring the paycheck to later?

    October 3, 2013 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  4. afroblue

    If you listen closely to the faaaaaar right wing Republicans, many of them keep stating that "Obama gave up this part of the law or he gave that extension to businesses, and he gave up the single payer option, so why wont he give up the individual mandate?" This is what they say in every interview. So in essence they are saying that the POTUS has negotiated with them or otherwise he would of had everything he originally wanted in the law. The Republicans wants him to negotiate the whole law away. If the President gives up on this, they will keep doing it every time a bill has to paid or the debt ceiling increased. It sets a dangerous precedent for future presidents.

    October 3, 2013 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  5. afroblue

    The statement I made about giving up paychecks was just my opinion based on the fact that many of them said they would give it up or donate ,(Ms. Jacks) so I don"t need to research my opinion. But I bet they will vote on getting their paychecks quicker than you can say, "Jack be nimble , Jack be quick."

    October 3, 2013 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  6. Fair is fair

    This is the best things have been in a long time. Keep it shut down. I love furlow :)

    October 3, 2013 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  7. Tony

    Their pay should stop and should not be given back after they finally get the job done that they should have got finished in time for the deadline. They lose those days or weeks or months of pay completely!!! There should be some way that the American people can vote to cause these dumb-asses to not get paid in times like this.

    October 3, 2013 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  8. prayfast2

    (Eyeopener) Isn't this really about the INSURANCE COMPANIES AND THE BIG BUCKS they pay to keep them in business to Congress, Instead of the parties being concerned about the people of this country and their care ?

    October 3, 2013 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  9. patesloan

    Raising the debt ceiling won't solve our problems, all it will do is add more burdens on the lives of our children and grandchildren. Shame on us and our parents and grandparents for letting it get so out of hand to begin with. I'm sorry some government workers have to struggle now, but all I can say is Welcome to the Real World, the rest of us have been struggling for years.

    October 3, 2013 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  10. DrDrMe

    notice please that the white house staff is paid.. also notice we still give lots of foreign aid to other countries who are paying their employees.. ours? who cares right? Time to sack congress and the president both!

    October 3, 2013 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  11. Not as stupid as politicians think

    So the government gets shut down...
    Those responsible still get paid.
    Then those still getting paid, say, "thats not right", and say that they will be giving their money to charity.
    So the side I would consider to be "more" responsible for this mess seems to have staked their claim against obamacare, based on the the fact that they despise "social welfare", or helping the needy.

    Isnt giving your (technically our) money to charity in essense social welfare in an attempt to help the needy?

    Or maybe theyll just use those charitable donations as a tax write off, while they complain about revenue shortfall...

    How do people that have to work so hard to make a living, and make so little, believe that the GOP has their best intentions at heart?

    Signed,
    Your average citizen

    October 3, 2013 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  12. Alexander

    I don't believe anything they or their spokesperson say. Show me some actual receipts from the charities that are supposedly getting the donations. Then I will believe them.

    October 3, 2013 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  13. mp

    Please list the congressmen ( and women) who receive government subsidies while voting against assistance for children & elderly.

    October 3, 2013 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  14. Ali Gator

    Sadly when all is said and done the furloughed will be paid and we will just have gotten screwed AGAIN!

    October 3, 2013 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  15. z&hcats

    Their one month's paycheck is nothing when compares with their millions dollars fortunes. Being a member of Congress is only their part time job.

    October 3, 2013 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  16. Name jk. Sfl. GOP conservatives,the garbage of America.

    The GOP teaparty garbage of America will be gone after 2014 midterms starting in Florida with radel , Scott and the rest of the teaparty trash from the GOP legislature!!!!!

    October 3, 2013 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  17. Reason

    So please tell who is at fault here the party that changed their requests several times or the one man that said he will not negotiate. Now "I will not negotiate" sounds familiar, Saddam Houssein, Castro, Kim Jong-un they are not willing to negotiate for the good of their people. However, there are some good ideas in the ACA I just don't understand how paying the insurance companies more for the same care and the ones who don't have insurance will still not pay.

    October 3, 2013 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  18. roger

    It's a sunny day in the neighborhood.

    October 3, 2013 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  19. sami

    I think congresses must have been out of their mind. are they kidding or playing game on us?? what kind of such pig-ignorant are they!! they would beg every body before they come to position then now they are making
    fun of the people. they had better reach to an agreement before the worst are gonna happen!!

    October 3, 2013 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  20. jrhodeisland

    Pay for NO WORK... Doesn't this make you PROUD of your GOP reps. Newt Gingrich said on Jay Leno last night, the furloughed people will get paid, and this is not a crisis. If this ticks you off.... BOEHNER has an email website !! Speak your mind. Quit BUNDLING ISSUES and do your JOB.....
    After the shutdowns of 1995 and 1996, Congress authorized back pay for federal employees, but it is not clear whether that will happen this time around, leaving these workers nervous.

    October 3, 2013 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  21. Catherine

    Big deal wealthy Congressional members are giving up their pay to charity. (Look closely at their tax filings next year and see if they take the deduction.) I can't think of many members that will even miss those checks. They are so insulated to what is happening to mid and lower level government employees who live check to check, that this grandstanding about sacraficing their checks is just ridiculous. How about we make them go in a room and not leave, other than the bathroom, until this government shutdown, that they caused, ends. How about we fine them for not doing their job and instead of charity, put the money to the national debt along with their pay checks.

    October 3, 2013 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  22. Reason

    Everyone from the President down should not be paid not just the people who have no say over what both Rep and Dem are doing, or not doing. The beautiful thing about a democratic government is its foundation of power to the people, which is realized through our representatives in congress. So are we at fault here?

    October 3, 2013 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  23. working mother

    I work hard for my money day in day out I run a household everyday there are No shutdowns in my home I can figure out my bills with a biweekly income why is it so hard for Congress to do the same exactly There is no difference between my home and and the white house it's just on a larger scale you sometimes need to remember that sacfices need to be made to to get the bills paid rather then having a paycheck go to charity it needs to go to our national debt no excuse because by putting it there doesn't help your in home debt also not accepting a check doesn't make it OK to recive it at your yearly bonus in fact I don't get a yearly bonus why should you

    October 3, 2013 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  24. Terry

    If she needs her paycheck she should be forced to work for it

    October 3, 2013 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    How about REPEALING the 27th amendment !!??? These bums ( both parties) should NOT get paid ,when they shut the gov't down.As long as they get paid ,they will do what they want to the rest of us. They forget who pays them and why they are there.

    October 3, 2013 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
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