Senators say Congress, president should 'feel the pain' of a shutdown
February 17th, 2011
05:18 PM ET
11 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. John

    Casey and Boxer are absolutely right!

    February 17, 2011 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  2. PalmReader

    "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."

    Kind of hard for you millionaire Congressionals to *feel my pain*, but hey, do give it a try, Boxer. Speaking for myself, I'd rather you all worked together to come up with much needed solutions - putting people over profits - and such, but am fast realizing it's not going to happen anytime soon - if ever. Seems corporate greed has gotten a stronghold on America it doesn't want to give up. Only thing surprising about that is how many fools are willing to allow corporate greed to continue unchecked.

    February 17, 2011 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  3. moderate voter

    Well that sounds like something I can approve of. If you can't work it out you can tough it out with the rest of us

    February 17, 2011 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  4. willie floyd

    Way to go!! 2 great Sens. If the Reps. have to lose some of their precious money-SO BE IT!!!

    February 17, 2011 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  5. Miller

    Very Very Very Commendable!
    IIt Looks like common sense may survive this time around!
    Thank you great senators

    February 17, 2011 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  6. REG in AZ

    There should no longer be any confusion in anyone's mind as to what the Republicans, Tea Party as well as regular, are loyal to – just their political agenda/ambitions and their strong supporters (Special Interests and the influential, powerful and extremely wealthy few) who 'pull their strings'. Nowhere in anything they say or do is there any concern for other than those interests and there simply is an abundance of contradiction to clearly identify all of the subterfuge. If the people are once again conned into returning to 'more of the same' (Bush-Cheney style) then the voters can really only blame themselves for ignoring the arrogantly obvious and obnoxiously self-serving deception continually offered.

    February 17, 2011 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  7. Mike

    How Noble. How about doing the right thing and run the country well. Oh, right, stupid are all unqualified. A bunch of middle managers that have no clue. We are in trouble. Thanks for the hard work. Did the taxpayer pay for your martini lunch today?

    February 17, 2011 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  8. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    I am so tired of republicans and those who are misinformed by Fox media. We are not broke, Boner is lying. If we were broke, the republicans would have never supported an extension of the unfunded Bush tax cuts, tried to repeal health reform, never gave huge tax breaks to foreign oil, never voted for the jet engine, never voted for two unnecessary wars. For them to vote for these debt increasing bills, would have been un-American to the point of terrorism.

    February 17, 2011 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  9. Rick McDaniel

    Yes, they should. They are so out of touch with reality, they need to be force fed, a good dose of it.

    February 17, 2011 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  10. Root and stem

    Shutting down the government is totally insignificant compared to the economic collapse that will occur in the next couple of years if the half wits in the White House and the Democrat/Progressive party have their way. They really would like to destroy us so they can rebuild our society in the image of Karl Marx or Chairman Mao or Joseph Stalin. It all hits the fan NOW. The threats of violence by the unionists in Wisconsin will seem small compared to the nationwide violence being planned by Obama and his union thugs.

    February 17, 2011 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  11. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Oh, with their shutdown, I think every American is going to negatively feel what the republicans are going to do over a period of several years. The damage they do will hurt all but the millionaires and billionaires.

    February 17, 2011 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  12. dane

    It would be great to have a prolonged government shutdown. While they all go home, 535 of us sensible people can sneak in?

    February 17, 2011 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  13. OneMoreTime

    Let's add that they pay for their health care out of their salaries, as well as their postage, travel, gas, families who go on
    "fact finding" missions with them to Countries they want to shop in. No Republican will agree to this, they are too
    greedy. Their salaries are pocket money. Most have other jobs, businesses, all have perks paid for by the huge
    corporations they protect. So, good idea, probably won't happen. My cake is really stale.

    February 17, 2011 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  14. rusty155

    Now their two Senators I would vote for.

    February 17, 2011 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  15. GOP = Greed Over People

    Nice try Dems, but the GOP will just hit up all those "people" that were born when the SC made big business a person.

    February 17, 2011 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  16. gary

    Let the republicans and their crying house leader shut it down. Let all federal employees stay home for a month with no pay and then see how much crying would be down around the country. I agree that we could do with half the number of federal employees we have now, but then the government would be held liable to ensure that the remaining 50 percent actually work forty hours a week. Walk into a private business office and the workers are nice and want to help you, but walk into any federal government office and you are lucky to get anyone to get off their behinds for assistance.

    February 17, 2011 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  17. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    These Republicans aren't worth the horse they road in on. It's time to shut them down, no more pay.

    February 17, 2011 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  18. kayla

    whats good for the goose, is good for the gander, and while you're are at it, take away their health insurance aswell.

    February 17, 2011 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  19. Margie

    Newtie tootie tried this during the 90's and look what happened to him and the republicans. Whose gonna loose. If the republicans shut down the government and people don't get their services I hope they descend on the House and boo the republicans out of the country. Things happen faster now than in the 90's. More communication. And the republicans look bad enough as it is how do you think a government shut down would look on them.

    February 17, 2011 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  20. Truthmonitor

    Please, please! Demand that Congress give up their right to tax-payer funded health care immediately. They can get their fat salaries and that's it – no other perks starting NOW. The audacity and hypocrisy is staggering – they are white collar criminals. The only ones I respect are those that gave up their taxpayer-funded health care when they voted it down for the entire country.

    February 17, 2011 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  21. Alistair

    Both these Senators are right!

    February 17, 2011 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  22. Julie

    Boehner and Repubs, please explain to the deployed soldiers why you shut down their support system. I don't think they will care about your politics when they're under attack and have no ammo.

    February 17, 2011 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  23. Four and The Door

    Wire Palladin, S. F.
    ... We are not broke...
    No, but we are $14 trillion in debt as a nation and Obama wants to put us on a path to $25 trillion.
    I'm just glad our American ancestors were more responsible than the Obama administration. We should have a little more respect for the challenges facing future Americans than, " ...we are not broke...yet"

    February 17, 2011 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  24. New Age Independant

    Not that long ago, wasn't it Democrats that railed against Republicans for going over budget? They made it sound like a catastrophic event back then, but now their being responsible? Sorry, I'm not buying their BS anymore. It's time to reign in spending just for the sake of filling the union coffers. Time to stop pork and other irresponsible spending. Stop blaming the countries troubles on another news network or TV personality, it only makes you look stupid.

    February 17, 2011 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  25. Jim

    Why is President in lower case and Democratic ,Senators and Congress are all in uper case letter. How disrespectful. I was never a Bush supporter but he was still the President. Like or dis-like the person the Office should be respected enough to know President should be upper case.

    February 17, 2011 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
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