CNN keeps count: Congress gets paid, but who's keeping their paycheck?
October 3rd, 2013
09:25 AM ET
6 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. 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 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  2. ShawnDH

    Subhas wrote: "What is our President doing? Is he keeping his paycheck?"
    ________________

    Why wouldn't he? Republicans chose to shut down the government.

    October 3, 2013 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  3. thinking outside the box

    Tim Walz is not a Senator, CNN. He is in the House. From the looks of the other posts, the entire column is wrong.

    October 3, 2013 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  4. Stef

    I think your lists may be labeled incorrectly – Himes, Esty and DeLauro from CT are all in the House, not the Senate

    October 3, 2013 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  5. Dan Smith

    Chellie Pingree, D-Maine – is a member of the House – not the Senate. Maine's Senators are Angus King and Susan Collins.

    October 3, 2013 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  6. CJ

    These senators and congressmen are more than likely very well off financially in the first place, so this pay is just a nickel in the bucket for them. If they donate their paycheck, they get a tax write-off anyway; so donating the pay is a good PR for them while they still get a benefit of a tax write-off. They have lost touch (or never had it) with the common worker. Those workers that were furloughed this past summer will never regain that back pay.

    October 3, 2013 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  7. Anonymous

    It's easy to give up their paycheck when the average wealth of a member of congress is in the millions of dollars. If they dig a bit deeper into their own pocket then maybe I'll be fooled into thinking they actually care about the people they claim to represent.

    October 3, 2013 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  8. Anne

    Anyone in DC Federal government officials who are accepting their pay should be voted out of office when possible. Why do he other Federal employees have to suffer?

    October 3, 2013 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  9. 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 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  10. Wade

    This is 100 % 5he presidents fault and he is keeping his paycheck . Only CNN would not dare tell the truth about Obama.

    October 3, 2013 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  11. How about all fire

    Fire all of them please American people. You can do it next election

    October 3, 2013 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  12. Data Driven

    Sigh. As predicted. An easy piece of meat to tear into.

    I would ask liberals, at least, to NOT turn this into an outraged howl about politicians paychecks and instead remember what this is really about: the "tea party" cabal rebelling against our government. The media would LOVE to distract us from the real issues. Don't fall for it!

    October 3, 2013 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  13. samsart

    This is just a smoke and mirrors deal. The very people responsible for this debacle trying to paint themselves as caring one way or another about the rest of us. It would be far more appropriate if they had done the job the rest of us elected them to do, as opposed to what they lobbyists, big business, etc. paid them to do.

    October 3, 2013 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  14. ny88

    The tea party republicans are nothing more than terrorist thugs. We don’t negotiate with Somalia pirates, why should we negotiate with Teabagistan pirates? They are holding over 800,000 workers hostage. They’ll end up destroying the economy. They didn’t get their way in 2012 so now they’re going to throw a hissy fit, stomp their feet and commit atrocities against our economy.

    October 3, 2013 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  15. Roger

    How many are donating to a charity that supports their campaign.

    October 3, 2013 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  16. Jorge

    These salaries are just a drop in the bucket for these rich career "do-nothings"....er....politicians.

    October 3, 2013 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  17. Cory

    John Delaney is the only person from Maryland on the list – The other Anne Wagner represents Missouri and Chris Coons represents Delaware. Delaney and Wagner are both in the House, not senators.

    October 3, 2013 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  18. George Washinton

    So, if most are not accepting or donating their pay I propose to them to propose a bill to eliminate congress pay if such crisis arises again. Furthermore, propose a bill when a law is passed that all Americans including those who purpose such, are not exempt from those laws(meaning all congress who work for the people of this great nation). What congress feels is good for the people they too must participate. In addition, no member of congress should receive a penny after their service is rendered. It's not your right to dictate to the people of this country what laws are good for us but not for you! You should be honored to hold such a prestigious title. That is why failure is inevitable. If you can't do the job you were voted in to do , resign so someone who is honored to work for the people to get the job done! This message is for all congress, DEMS. and REP(Tea Party) Now get back to work or see how powerful WE THE PEOPLE can be!

    October 3, 2013 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  19. jamie

    Still getting paid as per the law. The law they made for themselves. So they get paid no matter what. There is no justice here. "Just US" is their motto. Things need to change

    October 3, 2013 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  20. Nik

    Um..Donating is still worse. Donating your UNDUE salary is like Double Whammy.You are still going to claim it in tax-return and get free blessing/contact/reputation. Thats like a good thief, but still a THIEF.

    October 3, 2013 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  21. PT

    How do you not accept a check? I believe they are all required to have Direct Deposit!

    October 3, 2013 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  22. Orlando

    Before I believe that they will "donate" their paychecks, I would like to see it...I think they are saying this to avoid conflict with the American people.

    October 3, 2013 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  23. Mario

    Like I said previously... how are u going to just get off summer vacation and refuse to work. An still get paid. Media is trying to cause a civil problem and riots. So DHS can step in....

    October 3, 2013 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  24. Kirk

    Who cares if they donate their salary, they still get to claim it on their income tax as a charitable donation. I don't get to claim my unpaid mortgage and car payment on my income tax.

    Response to J: Has this Congress done anything like history has shown in the past? Don't hold your breath on anything these people might do. I thought they would act like adults and have these issues rectified before it came down to this. So much for history!

    October 3, 2013 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  25. Carl

    These people shouldn't be getting paid the rest of the year. The shutdown period will only be one missed paycheck, and will feel like a drop of water in the ocean to these fat cats. We need to send a message as voters on the next round of elections, and elect true representation that can connect to the average "Joe."

    October 3, 2013 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
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