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

    When did Paul Ryan become a Senator?

    October 3, 2013 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  2. Wes

    The guards posted up at the ww2 and other 24/7 open air monuments are also being paid... Essential workers. Dont believe the propaganda. 75% of the government is still being funded. Show boating by both sides. Politicians win. Americans lose.

    October 3, 2013 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  3. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    I don't see my Congressman Scott Rigell.

    October 3, 2013 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  4. EdwardTr

    I am sick of the headline stating Congress is getting paid. It is a non issue for many reasons.

    October 3, 2013 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  5. Ken

    What does not accepting mean? Once they resolve this idiotic budget issue they will accept? It certainly isn't declining because then they would be listed under donating. SUGGEST EVERYONE SEND AN E MAIL TO THOSE ACCEPTING REGARDLESS OF YOUR RESIDENCE STATE AND ASK THEM WHY THEY THINK THEY DESERVE THEIR SALARY.

    October 3, 2013 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  6. mjbrin

    my favorite!

    House (undecided):
    John Campbell, R-California

    Gee I don't know should i accept it? donate it? refuse it? so many choices! Can't decide! so funny!

    October 3, 2013 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  7. Bucktooth

    Wow!! Who really are the good guys and the bad guys?? Don't know anymore!

    October 3, 2013 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  8. What Now

    You want to know the big difference? Those Senators and Representatives giving up their checks had a choice to do so. The furloughed workers had no choice. Sorry, but most of you giving up your checks will not even notice while many who are forced out of their work live from paycheck to paycheck. NOT the same at all.

    October 3, 2013 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  9. Sharon Johnson

    Another lame announcement of charity by those you really don't care about the masses and don't need a paycheck. They exempt themselves from programs and laws for a reason. They know they won't work or they just stink. We should really pay attention when they make these decisions. If it's not good enough for you, then it's not good enough for me and my family.

    October 3, 2013 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  10. tommyrock80

    John Yarmuth is not a senator. He is a representative from KY.

    October 3, 2013 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  11. Jerry

    Lets then begin with the ones that keep their checks and get them out of office.

    October 3, 2013 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  12. Judy

    You do realize that those who are "donating" their checks get to write it off their taxes as a "charitable donations"? So where is it hurting them? They are still benefiting

    October 3, 2013 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  13. USCitizen

    What about Ted Cruz?

    October 3, 2013 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  14. JC

    The fact that they have the luxury of voluntarily forgoing their pay show how out of tough our leaders are with the Americans they are impacting. It is a slap in the face to the furloughed federal employees who rely on their pay checks. An insult to those scrambling to find child care to get to their minimum wage jobs, and an affront to those who will go hungry because their safety net has been taken away. A lot of hungry, out of work people without options sounds like the recipe for a revolution.

    October 3, 2013 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  15. Jewels

    They earn their paychecks when famlies are suffering. Others being turned away from our so called "land of the free" national parks.Teddy Roosevelt would slap these idiots if he knew how they were treating yellowstone and other national parks!

    October 3, 2013 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  16. brownie

    you americans are so fortunate to have such an admirable group of people running the country so well. no wonder you are the envy of the world and considered world leaders

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

    Richard Burr is in hiding .The ole car salesmen , George Bushes, "I'M with you George, what ever you say"
    Remember the name RICHARD BURR

    October 3, 2013 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  18. USCitizen

    None of the congress should get paid? They are a bunch of irresponsible representatives!! Shame on them!!!!

    October 3, 2013 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  19. whatpresidenthuh

    Not accepting paycheck equals waiting until this all blows past then requesting retropay.

    October 3, 2013 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  20. Barbara

    Robert J. Wittman, R-Virginia and Scott Rigell, R-Virginia are not senators from Virginia. They must be representatives, but since they are not from my district, I am ashamed to say that I don't know them.

    October 3, 2013 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  21. HouseRules1

    I would like to see the names of the 80 Republicans who 1st proposed to shutdown the government in order to get their way. Would CNN provide this list. I am unable to find the names.

    October 3, 2013 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  22. Name

    They can say one thing but do another.

    October 3, 2013 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  23. Ohblamah

    Unimpressive. When they all resign their posts due to gross incompetence and inability to do their jobs, then I will be mildly impressed.

    October 3, 2013 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  24. William Balderson

    Donating or giving to charity is still helping the reciever as tax wright offs. I know this FED stoppage is hurting a lot of people but something has to be done about the government spending and the national debt, it can not keep going on the way it is.

    October 3, 2013 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  25. Frank

    The two Senators that you list for Maryland do not exist. Never heard of these two.

    October 3, 2013 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
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