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

    Republican Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia came out and said that she will not be accepting her paycheck also. Put her name on there!

    October 3, 2013 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  2. AJ

    That is fine and dandy, but does not solve the situation at hand. besides must of them are millionaires and correct me if I'm wrong, but they can use it as a tax deduction.

    October 3, 2013 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  3. kirk

    Boehner is using the only leverage he has to push his agenda, the fact that it is hurting people, possibly very big problems for many, and damage a fragile economy, well he just doesn't care as much about that as following orders from the koch brothers, sad day, but atleast we see where his priorities are

    October 3, 2013 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  4. RayS

    CHANGE THE LAWS 27th amendment FOR THE FUTURE!!! The President and any member of Congress should not be paid OR allowed to write it off to Charity.. The Federal laid off employees are without paychecks and they cant write off anything.

    October 3, 2013 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  5. Republicans are to blame

    What the Democrats have to do to match Republican insanity is to dig in their heels and demand that the Bush Tax Cut be repealed in order to open the government again. Now that the Republicans have set the precident of shutting down the government to get their way ... the Democrats will start to do the same. This will now be politics in America. This, of course, does not hurt wealthy people one bit. It's the middle class and poor who will suffer the most. And the "Christian" Republicans could not care less. Jerks.

    October 3, 2013 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  6. chiavarm

    Isn't any curious? See how long we can leave our government "Shutdown"?
    Also why should we pay federal tax when it is shutdown?

    October 3, 2013 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  7. Marie MD

    More importantly right now there's a hurricane heading for southern LA red state.
    Let's see what cantor who doesn't want to send money to any state after a natural disaster until his district was hit by an earthquake is going to do about this.
    Is FEMA open? If not, maybe we can send the teatards to the coast to blow hot air towards the hurricane. Oops, hot water/air is what fuels a hurricane that might put the teatards in danger. Then again, let's start a collection to,fly them down there.

    October 3, 2013 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  8. David

    Everyone is concerned about saving face, the federal workers may or may not get paid – more than likely they will get back pay. However, the thousands of other people that have small businesses are really suffering. People in need of health services not receiving at the NIH, thousands of immigrants in the nations immigration courts having cases adjourned for another few years because DC is playing this game. People who have been tortured in the home countries, come to this country for safe haven, and the courts cannot seem to remain open.

    This is about saving face, well all the time saving face domestically, this is hurting the US internationally and it is a shame. DC needs to get its act together.

    October 3, 2013 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  9. SimpleLife

    Ted Cruz better be donating his paychecks to the american people for the rest of his life.

    Odds of that happening? about the same odds as Bill Gates winning the powerball.

    October 3, 2013 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  10. mike Lake Orion Michigan

    I don't care who's keeping their paychecks or not! I want every frickin Democrat out!

    October 3, 2013 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  11. Ginger Woolridge

    The salary we pay congressional members is not the point. The outside money is the issue. The campaign donations are at the heart of this problem. We have a system of legalized corruption (thanks to the Citizens United decision) that poisons our political system. The only incentive for congress to pass laws to be rid of this money is for us to use emails, phone calls, letter to the editor, votes and feet in the streets. US democracy is at stake and it needs to be protected by us – not the NSA, CIA, or the armed services. This is our job.

    October 3, 2013 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  12. R. Moore

    What is not accepting? Do they not do direct deposit, it's all a load of crap.

    October 3, 2013 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  13. Dave

    Notice there was no info on that spineless SOB Harry Reid Dem-Nevada? He lives in the Ritz Carlton in Georgetown. Why doesn't he donate to NIH for cancer research? Oh that's right he hates people with cancer!

    October 3, 2013 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  14. Donnie the Lion

    Not sure you can"not accept" a paycheck due to the accounting. Better to accept it and donate it.

    October 3, 2013 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  15. Ed

    I agree with Jerry, TAKE NOTE OF THOSE WHO KEEP THERE CHECKS AND GET THEM OUT. They dont care for the American People!!!!!

    October 3, 2013 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  16. Dennis

    They should donate it to the DISABLED VETERANS and their families who will not be getting any pay! Shame! These men and women bled for this country!

    October 3, 2013 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  17. Anonymous

    We need to protest outside the White House against Obama. Enough's Enough! I'm so sick and tired of his 'it's my way or the highway'. He's nothing but stubborn and arrogant and think's only about himself and NOT the American people. He's a horrible leader and a horrible President. He needs to be ousted! Along with some democrats and republicans.

    October 3, 2013 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  18. Slim Country

    Spoke with a friend of mine last night who has worked in the government for 20+ years. I can honestly say " he goes to work every day with a purpose never complains, gives them all the hours they need from him". No pay check this week. I can't say the same for our elected officials (D /R) who are killing this country , year after year. Sad day for the US citizens, other countries are shaking their heads and just laughing at us. Washington, plain and simple is "broken"! Lobbyist run our country today unfortunately and its getting worse after each election year. Where will the US be in 5, 10 years from today?

    October 3, 2013 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  19. d

    Gotta love the check donators. They get to write that chunk of cash off so they still get the benefit.

    October 3, 2013 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  20. sitara12006

    But to what charities? Their own personal ones where they have an interest. They should donate them to people who are out of work because of them

    October 3, 2013 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  21. judewalker0220

    tommyrock80: The list has John Yarmuth under the House. Look again.

    October 3, 2013 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  22. Antonina Kerttula

    Correction. Senator Mike Lee-Utah said he will keep his paycheck because he is an "essential" employee as opposed to other government workers. He then later stated (after being confronted on his arrogance) he would make a donation to charity AFTER this is resolved. He did not say he will donate all his pay. He only agreed to make a charitable donation and did not specify an amount. Slow clap for Mike Lee...

    October 3, 2013 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  23. MrsJAZ

    If anyone in Congress is reading this.... please note I am open to donations !!!

    October 3, 2013 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  24. Scott

    Big deal if a millionaire Congress member gives up there pay. I'm on the front line protecting this country forced on my days off and no pay insight. That's right what if your job told you we can't pay you but you have to show up.

    October 3, 2013 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  25. Eric

    The fanatic right wing senator Mike Lee of Utah is keeping his salary, he said so on Local Utah TV last night.......Keep sippin your tea Mr. Lee.....the tea is almost gone!!!!!!!!!

    October 3, 2013 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
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