Senators say Congress, president should 'feel the pain' of a shutdown
February 17th, 2011
05:18 PM ET
12 years ago

Senators say Congress, president should 'feel the pain' of a shutdown

Washington (CNN) - Two Senate Democrats said Thursday that if a standoff over government spending leads to a government shutdown, politicians should "feel the pain" too.

"We have to take steps to make sure that elected officials here are living by the same rules as everyone else," Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pennsylvania, said during a news conference on Thursday.

Casey was joined by fellow Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer of California in introducing a bill that would withhold pay for members of Congress and the President if a government shutdown were to happen.

During the news conference the two Senators made a point of highlighting various reports that said Republicans were not ruling out a possible shutdown.

The specter of a government shutdown has been hanging over the current debate on a government spending bill. The funding measure expires March 4th, and if the two parties can't come to an agreement on spending cuts before then, a short term measure to keep the government running would need to pass to avoid a government shutdown.

Members of Congress and the president fall under mandatory spending and their paychecks would not be affected in the case of a shutdown, according to Sens. Boxer and Casey. Under their proposal, that loophole would close. Additionally, the legislation would not allow back pay for lawmakers and the president for any days worked during a shutdown.

"If the government is forced to shut down, members of Congress and the president should be treated the same way as all other federal employees," said Sen. Boxer. "We should not be paid, and to take it one step further, we should not be paid retroactively once the government reopens."

"We should feel the pain," Boxer said, "and we hope that this is such a simple piece of legislation, it's so fair, that it will wake people up."

Filed under: Congress
soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. DAVE

    people in this country are mad at the wrong thing because they don't pay attention until the cuts are made. first it is wrong to believe that social sucerity has any thing to do with the current budget problems because it is taking in revenue with its taxes that are 42% of federal revenue. 43% of federal revenue comes from income taxes taken in. social sucerity right now is still in the black for a few more years. second the two wars in the middle east that trurned into nation building is aproaching a cost of $4 trilliom dollars. the reason we are so broke is because of 2 wars pushed by the fear the republicans put into americans not the cost of social sucerity. just think if we had all the money we spent after we won the war that we have spent on rebuilding 2 other countries but our own. wise up america our habits and reasons for voting have put us into this mess that started in the year 2000 and lasted eight long years!

    February 17, 2011 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  2. charpps

    OK, you want to feel pain? Try having our health insurance plans. Monthly premiums so high you have to make a choice of either going to the doctor or making your monthly premium payment. You won't be able to do both. Then the insurance company won't even start paying anything until you pay the first $2400.00. Why don't they get our plans. I bet we could save some money there.

    February 17, 2011 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  3. Charlotte

    Guess I'd better stash away a couple of extra mortgage payments, being a Federal Employee. I kind of count on my paychecks to make sure I have a roof over my head.....not unlike most employees, whether private sector or public sector.

    February 17, 2011 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  4. ED FL

    Obama's comment on WI showed that he is only intersted in ONE THING and that is his RE_ELECTION. As a life long straight Demo voter I am having more and more thoughts about Him. I could never vote Republican but i could/would write in a candidate even knowing it is wasted but it would continue my voting record but against President Obama. One Day he is brilliant and the next he is sucking up to the GOP like a lap dog. I can not forget how he Quickly voted to keep the tax rates for the wealthy. Remember he is one of the recipients of that benefit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 17, 2011 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  5. Debbie

    This is totally wonderful! Why should they get paid if they let the govt shut down? They should be the first to give up their income. The states should do the same thing. In fact, all govt legislators, representatives, senators should ALL take an across the board pay cut, they make way too much money, plus they should all have to pay in full for their healthcare. Let's do this!

    February 17, 2011 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  6. John/kc

    While we are at it, lets make congressional members have the same retirement and health care as the rest of the government employees. They certainly don't deserve any extra!

    February 17, 2011 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  7. D-NICE

    I am sooo glad the republicans gave the top 2% tax cuts. Instead of generating revenue from people who can afford it, we have to cut people's heating oil subsidies and things of that nature. Great job republicans, we can see where you priorities lie, with the rich and the corporations. The next time a republicans talks about helping the middle class, someone needs to yell, YOU LIE...

    February 17, 2011 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
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