CNN keeps count: More members decide to donate their shutdown paychecks
October 4th, 2013
02:35 PM ET
1 year ago

CNN keeps count: More members decide to donate their shutdown paychecks

(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. And some have decided to keep their paychecks.

CNN reached out to all 533 current members of Congress about their plans.

As of Friday at 2:00 p.m ET., the tally showed 43 senators are donating to charity or back to the Treasury Department, while 15 are not accepting a paycheck and four are undecided.

Seven senators say they plan to keep their salary. Those senators are: Tom Coburn, R-Oklahoma; Chris Murphy, D-Connecticut; Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa; Tom Harkin, D-Iowa; Roy Blunt, R-Missouri; Patty Murray, D-Washington.

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."

Harkin, on the other hand, told a local paper, "We're coming to work, though, so as long as we're working, we ought to get paid."

In the House, 52 representatives say they're donating to charity or the Treasury, while 81 are not accepting a paycheck and three are undecided.

Nine House members, however, say they're keeping their salary: Mike Thompson, D-California; 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; James Clyburn, D-South 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," Ellmers continued. "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 (14 Responses)
  1. DevotedFed

    NC's Elmer's said ""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," Ellmers continued. "I'm not in that position.""..... REALLY???? So do I you..... ignorant person!!! If only I could go and work and get my check. For every day there is a furlough and you ALL don't pass a budget – you might be at work but you have NOT done your job. Shame on you for keeping that money. Send it to a food bank in the area, where furloughed feds might be found in line.

    October 4, 2013 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    Nobody cares. Even if every single one of them does it. NOBODY. CARES. Truly. And the MSM's efforts to help out the idiots doing it and play the kabuki theater game of "well so and so did it, and isn't that just such a nice gesture...but this other person is horrible for not doing it" is pretty infantile. Even for the ones that do it, it negates none of their bad karma or the general public outrage at them for this situation. CNN should not report on it AT ALL anymore...it's a meaningless distraction and nothing more.

    October 4, 2013 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  3. Gurgyl

    NC is bunch of morons. Totally uneducated idiots, or else they would not elect that guy to governor, pat mcRory.

    October 4, 2013 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  4. Data Driven

    I am perhaps alone with this opinion, but this whole paycheck thing is a distraction by the media who is doing every thing they can to reignite a false equivalency narrative that would get John Boehner off the hook.

    Stay focused, folks: demand that Boehner bring the Senate's CR to a vote.

    October 4, 2013 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  5. Sniffit

    "Just think of all the birds, squirrels and other animals that will now have their home for Christmas... We don't need a tree in Washington. It is just another celebrity event that Obama will use to attack people. He has no class whatsoever."

    LOL. And you'll be the first one to try to use the absence of a tree to start screaming "see...SEEE!!!!!!! NO Xmas tree!!!! War on Xmas!!!! We told you he's a secret Muslim!!!! Krischun Nashun....KRISCHUN NASHUUUUUUUUN!!!!! BENGHAZI!!!!"

    October 4, 2013 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  6. Thomas

    CNN , who is benefiting on the government shutdown ?

    Who is going short on America ?

    What corporations will benefit ?

    Who will make fortune's ?

    The paychecks of these politicians is chicken feed compared to the real picture .

    October 4, 2013 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  7. Romney is STILL NOT My Hero

    Oh, how big of CONgress to do this – yeah right! There are so many people out of work behind their incompetence. I bet they aren't impressed at all. AND donate to charity? What charity? Giving money to your favorite country club is not charity! Plus, it will be nothing but a tax right off. They will be able to recoup everything.

    Get to work and EARN a paycheck for once!

    October 4, 2013 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    This is interesting information, but the whole thing is embarrassing and pathetic.
    "The very bodies that failed to prevent the shut down".........that says it all.

    Ellmers: " I need my paycheck. That's the bottom line." Well, guess what lady, all of the "furloughed" people need
    their paychecks too. This trumped up fiasco is costing the American people more money than you can imagine.
    Its time for you and your ilk to start caring about the people you represent.

    Harkin: " We're coming to work............so we ought to get paid". So should everyone else.

    You have demeaned the United States, the working people that keep America running, and yourselves.
    There are not words printable to describe how I feel about what you are doing. I don't remember ever
    being so angry at politicians.

    October 4, 2013 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  9. ST

    @Data Driven
    I fully agree with you. The media is not doing its job as it is required. For sure they need to press Boehner day and night, each minute and each second to make sure he brings the vote to the floor. This game of donating salary doesn't help anyone and people who are furloughed are not receiving their donations either.

    October 4, 2013 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  10. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Keep your paychecks. You will need them when you are out of work!

    October 4, 2013 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  11. tom l

    The outrage on the left because Boehner won't bring the bill to the floor is laughable. For the record I think he should bring it to the floor. Just like I think that Reid should have brought all of the bills passed by the House over the years to the floor that he has chosen not to bring to a vote. Don't rationalize away that "this is too important! this is about a government shutdown!" Blah blah blah. If it's wrong for one party not to bring a bill to a vote, then it's wrong for the other party. Reid has been doing this for years and you know it. Be consistent!

    On another note, I can't believe I'm saying this but I do agree with Sniffit the Corporatist. This is meaningless drivel on who donates their check. It's all part of this manufactured charade brought to you by dems and repubs to shove all of us to one side or the other. I mean, honestly, how can you default on the interest payment of 7 billion per month when we take in over 250 billion per month? It's nonsensical. Come on, everyone! Chat with me MAN – U – FACTURED CLAP CLAP CLAPCLAPCLAP. What a joke.

    October 4, 2013 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  12. GOP = Greed Over People

    Perhaps the the good Congressfolk will donate their salary to pay for the medical expenses of the two wounded Capitol police that were working without pay yesterday, and were wounded in the incident, protecting the very folks that decided to use their livelihood as a pawn in their political game of brinksmanship?

    October 4, 2013 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  13. Wake up People!

    I'm with Data and Sniffit. The MSM is going out of it's way to let Boehner and the rest of them off the hook.

    Do any of you think that if Mitt had won and the dems were doing what the GOP is now doing.....do you think the dems would be given the same treatment or would the MSM call them out?

    Just wondering.....

    October 4, 2013 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  14. RinosRwinos

    GOP gave up their reality check but kept their paycheck.

    October 4, 2013 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |