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. Name fannie

    Yeah those poor polticians that put us in trouble why should they go without a paycheck after all they work so hard

    October 3, 2013 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  2. linda

    For real Ellmers ... I need my paycheck too

    October 3, 2013 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  3. prayfast2

    (Eyeopener) What is this about? It is certainly NOT about the people or their protection or HEALTH, it is about protecting the BIG INSURANCE CO who are lobbying and have gotten the right people to help. These people are on a SOAPBOX about the fall of AMERICA, and the OBAMACARE, and the RIGHTS of the people. Shine YOUR eyes this is about WHAT?

    October 3, 2013 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  4. Bill

    How many Congressmen are giving up their Health Care until all Americans have Health Care. We provide an education for all americans, why not health care?

    October 3, 2013 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  5. mom

    The main people who should be put on dry biscuit and water rations in a very "dressed -down facility" are the Obamas, and anyone who has been helping to keep the fraud going about this presidency. BO has done almost nothing at all except try to harm our economy, our national unity, and go on endless expensive vacations. Oh, how I wish he and all who think he is worth anything good could be sent packing IMMEDIATELY... to parts unknown. And I am not talking about Tony Bourdain's show.

    October 3, 2013 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  6. osmen

    I think that its there money and they have the right to whatever they want with it.

    October 3, 2013 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  7. Katie

    What the people who are keeping their paychecks don't seem to get is that they have a choice. The rest of America does not have a say in the matter. If they don't get a paycheck, get furloughed, get laid off, get their hours cut, get their businesses cut back because of the shut down – THEY DIDN'T GET A CHOICE!!

    October 3, 2013 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  8. abcd1

    It is there money ,has there name on the check or deposited into there account . What would you do ? Osmen

    October 3, 2013 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  9. nref

    curious..when I donate, I file it on my taxes and get it back. how generous of you.

    October 3, 2013 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  10. Jane Renna

    yea she needs her paycheck for what?? to pay off her vacation home and her cars and whatever else they have... come on give me a break...i really think i dont want to donate my taxes to you guys paychecks how does that feel??I still say the first thing that should stop is the congress, senate and yes the presidents paychecks until they solve this mess.. Im sure it would be fix alot sooner...OH take note from the veterans that wouldnt let the goverment stop them to enter THEIR memorial.. i think the people should walk into the captial since its out capital and stand there until they do something.. Its out goverment .. RIGHT???

    October 3, 2013 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  11. Charlie


    My wife, my mother, and my father are going without pay while you idiots "need your paycheck". You people are a JOKE! My entire immediate family has been effected by this. We are having to ask for extensions on loans while you, the joke that you are, gets to make your payment!! Why would you congressmen and congresswomen want to do anything quickly if you're not affected???

    October 3, 2013 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  12. Margaret

    If they are going to contribute to something they should give it all to the food banks, without the WIC program and if this continues until next month there will be long lines at the food banks. Gee some of them need their salaries, well guess what, the people not getting there's do too, and they like living under a roof and having a car to drive. They probably need the money a lot more. John Q Citizen does not have the luxury of saying I did not get paid this month, I have to miss a payment or be late on a bill. For some reason creditors don't like that and have no understanding. .

    October 3, 2013 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  13. Joel

    I think boehner should be arested for treasion. one person dictating the majority is wrong.

    October 3, 2013 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  14. Tobey

    “Members of Congress, having failed to pass a budget, shall neither receive nor expend campaign finances until a budget is passed.”

    This Twitter-sized amendment will hit members of congress where they live. It will take their attention out of the pockets of lobbyists and moneyed interests and focus them back on the job they were elected to do.

    October 3, 2013 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    It's yours. You can do whatever you want with it. Thank God, America still exist.

    October 3, 2013 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  16. perry

    It's yours. You can do whatever you want with it. Thank God, America still exist.

    October 3, 2013 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  17. Herb

    It is amazing that they can say that they cannot afford to give up their paychecks, while expecting thousands with much less income to give up all. It is also indescribable that they can state (with their salary) that they can not afford to give up anything (living pay check to pay check) while thinking that people on $7-$8/hr. should be having a pretty comfortable life. Then they expect us to believe they are on our side. Take notice that members of both parties have opted to retain their pay. This is why I say they must all go so we can start to rebuild our government.

    October 3, 2013 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  18. Woman In California

    All they're trying to do is relieve their guilt.
    Fat chance of that happening.

    October 3, 2013 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  19. John Maynard

    Oh I feel so bad for the politicians that need their check to survive. NOT. How do you think we feel making only a quarter of what you make and actually working. Quit using my money to advance your agenda.

    October 3, 2013 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  20. chuck wagon


    I think that its there money and they have the right to whatever they want with it."

    Actually, it's money from taxes!

    October 3, 2013 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  21. derf

    what happened to "public servants" wages? shes's a step away from Obama's paycheck. people want to cut excessive spending, start with payroll.

    October 3, 2013 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  22. Fred

    Smile, we are proud of America, but not proud of Congress.....Failing the American Public has hurt politics.....They need no pay based on their production.......Line item votes would let us judge how they are paid.....Then the American Public could determine their pay scale by vote.....Pass the budget for operating the government eliminating Obama Care. American are always kept in the dark about most issues. Pass the budget. No Obama Care......Brother Needs support....

    October 3, 2013 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  23. mac

    They're all so out of touch that none of them truly "represent" any of the working public, anymore. And now, some of us are no longer working. Big sarcastic thank you to congress and the white house.

    October 4, 2013 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
  24. terri

    Where is all the billions of dollars that the Department of the Treasury has in excess collections?

    October 4, 2013 01:30 am at 1:30 am |
  25. rosethornne

    They get paid "by law" even if they don't work, pitch a hissy fit, and destroy the economy....
    Now THERE'S a law that needs changing if I ever saw one!

    October 4, 2013 05:24 am at 5:24 am |
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