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

    Need more info... Not accepting means the pay is forfeited permanently? So pretty much the same a donating it the treasury? Or just deferred until the govt re opens?

    October 3, 2013 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  2. James Klimaski

    Not accepting checks does not mean they will never get the money. It simply means they get to collect it after the continuing resolution is passed. The ones giving it away are the only ones who won't get it back. Of course, we need to find out who they are giving the money to.
    Let's get the whole story CNN.

    October 3, 2013 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  3. Hyde

    "Four House members, however, say they're keeping their salary– Rep. Danny Davis, D-Illinois; Rep. Todd Rokita, R-Indiana; Rep. William Clary Jr., Rep. William 'Lacy' Clay, Jr., D-Missouri; Rep. Howard Coble, R-North Carolina."

    How about voters make sure these particularly out-of-touch, self-preserving, greedy House Members don't get re-elected-

    October 3, 2013 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  4. Watto

    Do lawmakers think we are stupid? They "give their money to charity". Then they deduct it on their taxes and get a huge chunk back.

    October 3, 2013 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  5. Gerry

    What sacrifice by the rich and powerful! If they really wanted to do something meaningful those who voted for the Govt Heath Care bill (along with their families) voluntarily enroll in the government exchanges or be forced to and forbidden to spend their millions flying in their private jets to wherever in the World the good quality health care be offered. Can you see Diane Feinstein or Darryl Issa standing in line with us at the clinic? Don't hold your breath for the elite of either party.

    October 3, 2013 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  6. Aaron S

    Several mistake in this list- but I am sure as the day progresses lawmakers will spend more of our money not making good choices. They should donate those checks to their districts!!

    October 3, 2013 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  7. Graham

    More Republicans are giving away or not accepting their checks than Dems. This is odd since people always complain about how Republicans are money grubbers.

    October 3, 2013 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  8. Steve

    Great piece. I especially like the fact that CNN has realized that there are more than 2 senators from certain states. Great knowledge of our Congress. haha

    October 3, 2013 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  9. mph

    And that gets me back to work how?

    October 3, 2013 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  10. Justin

    John Yarmuth – Kentucky is not a senator, CNN.

    October 3, 2013 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  11. Jo Ann

    NC has a Senator Pittenger?

    October 3, 2013 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  12. Interesting

    Connecticut has 3 Senators? Wow...good for them!

    October 3, 2013 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  13. jonjojr

    I can understand Senators giving away their money. These guys are already wealthy. But House members are not as wealthy as Senators and some actually live of their employment salary.

    October 3, 2013 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  14. FACT CHECK

    Since when was Paul Ryan a Senator and California had more than two senators?

    October 3, 2013 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  15. Steve Bordo

    Its time to for the citizens to take back America. Greed and corporate influence have created a corruptible acceptable culture in DC and else where in local governments. This angle of doing business is not sustainable. How much do you love your kids and want a bright future?

    October 3, 2013 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  16. Lynda/Minnesota

    They shutdown the government and are now asking to be congratulated for not accepting their own paychecks?
    Apparently voters eat this garbage up. Unreal.

    October 3, 2013 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  17. NoMoreRetoric

    Congress.... Please send your checks to all the Federal workers whom you have forced into Furlough because you can not do your jobs. If you are a Republican please resign today.

    If you are a Tea Party Politician please report to your nearest church and pray for your soul, as what you have done to this Nation is despicable.

    Republican Party, Your a disgrace to this Nation, You are a disgrace to our founding fathers but more importantly you are a disgrace to the hard working people of this Nation whom trusted you with the responsibly of serving this great nation.

    October 3, 2013 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  18. Jose M. Guzman

    The Tea party and his republicna followers are at fault of this situation, you do not hold the President of the USA for rason on somthing that was previously approved by both Senate and Congress and the 9 judges of the suprem court......Ted Cruz and teh tea party are morons.

    October 3, 2013 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  19. Singh

    Doesn't really seem fair that Congress gets paid still and others don't get paid. Law should be EQUAL to everyone since it is for EVERYONE....

    October 3, 2013 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  20. herb

    Those not accepting are simply deferring. They will get the money as soon as shutdown ends. So will all other government workers. Nobody will actually lose salary.

    October 3, 2013 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  21. springsgran

    I want to know why ALL of them haven't given up their pay? I thought the politicians who make the laws had to adhere to the bills they pass and this (although not a bill) has been put on the American people by them and they should be accountable as well. By the way, they should be on Social Security, not a pension after 2 years service, and the ACA, not some golden medical plan that is paid for by the American people. If the politicians had to adhere to the laws they pass (which the Constitution says they have to) we would see a much better government. They have an entitlement attitude and can't relate to 98% of the American people!! Get them OUT..VOTE every incumbent out of office in every election!!!! NOW is the time we have to start doing this to change the government as it is! PLEASE VOTE THEM ALL OUT!

    October 3, 2013 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  22. Name. Nurain Anifowoshe

    They are getting paid yet they deprive theie voters of their income. What a callous people.

    October 3, 2013 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  23. bergerte

    I'll bet that those who 'Donate' also take the tax deduction.

    October 3, 2013 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  24. Ben

    I hope everyone remembers where each and every Senator and Congressman stood come election time.

    October 3, 2013 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  25. Joe

    There is no way you can trust the accuracy of this article. Many names and positions are listed inaccurately. I also find it interesting that Rand Paul's and Ted Cruz' names are left of especially since Ted Cruz publicly announced he was donating his salary two days ago.

    October 3, 2013 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
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