CNN keeps count: Congress gets paid, but who's keeping their paycheck?
October 3rd, 2013
09:25 AM ET
9 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. Uh-Oh

    Robert Pittenger, R-North Carolina is not a Senator, he's in the House in North Carolina.

    October 3, 2013 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  2. Leslie

    I'm sorry but all 533 memebers should be on this list. You are not working, what do you think you deserve to get paid for? I'm glad to see some representatives of my state on that list.

    October 3, 2013 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  3. Bob

    Since Teapublicans took over the House of Reps, they've created nothing but gridlock and one crises after another.

    October 3, 2013 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  4. notogop

    How do we ever know if they actually donate the money or even don't receive it. Are we supposed to trust/believe these crooks?

    October 3, 2013 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  5. MN Resi

    Tim Waltz is in the House. He is not a senator.

    October 3, 2013 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  6. Bill

    "We have to get something out of this. And I don't know what that even is." – Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R-Ind.)


    October 3, 2013 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  7. Marla Smith-Nilson

    This list needs some proofing. I'm from Washington state, and like all other states we only have 2 Senators (not the 3 you have listed):
    Suzan DelBene, D-Washington
    Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Washington
    Derek Kilmer, D- Washington

    October 3, 2013 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  8. Gretchen

    Todd Rokita's daily decisions absolutely stun me. I'm embarrassed to be from the state of Indiana. Come on Mr. Rokita, I'm sure you could find a charity to donate to. A suggestion or two for you to consider: Wounded Warrior, or maybe a local charity such as Indianapolis FOP.

    October 3, 2013 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  9. Subhas

    What is our President doing? Is he keeping his paycheck?

    October 3, 2013 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  10. Monk

    Markings of the last days

    “Men become faint out of fear and expectation of the things coming upon the inhabited earth” (Luke 21:25, 26)
    “The fact is that today the biggest single emotion which dominates our lives is fear,” said U.S. News & World Report. (October 11, 1965, p. 144) “Never before has mankind been as fearful as at present,” reported the German magazine Hörzu.—No. 25, June 20, 1980, p. 22.
    Many factors contribute to this global atmosphere of fear: violent crime, unemployment, economic instability because so many nations are hopelessly in debt, worldwide pollution of the environment, lack of strong and loving family ties, and the overwhelming feeling that mankind is in imminent danger of nuclear annihilation. Luke 21:25 mentions ‘signs in sun, moon, and stars, and roaring of the seas’ in connection with the anguish felt by the nations. The rising of the sun often causes, not happy anticipation, but fear of what the day may bring; when the moon and stars shine, fear of crime makes people stay behind locked doors. In the 20th century, but not before, planes and missiles have been used to send destruction streaking down from the heavens. Submarines carrying deadly loads of missiles prowl the seas, just one such submarine being equipped to annihilate 160 cities. No wonder the nations are in anguish!
    ‘Christ’s true followers to be objects of hatred by all nations on account of his name’ (Matt. 24:9)
    This persecution is not because of political meddling but ‘on account of the name of Jesus Christ,’ because his followers adhere to him as Jehovah’s Messianic King, because of their obeying Christ ahead of any earthly ruler, because of their loyally adhering to his Kingdom and not becoming involved in the affairs of human governments. As modern-day history testifies, that has been the experience of Jehovah’s Witnesses in all parts of the earth.
    ‘This good news of the kingdom preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness’ (Matt. 24:14)
    The message that would be preached is that God’s Kingdom in the hands of Jesus Christ has begun to rule in the heavens, that soon it will put an end to the entire wicked system of things, that under its rule mankind will be brought to perfection and earth will become a paradise. That good news is being preached today in over 200 lands and island groups, to the most distant parts of the earth. Jehovah’s Witnesses devote hundreds of millions of hours to this activity each year, making repeated house-to-house visits so that everyone possible is given the opportunity to hear.
    To what do all these events of “the last days” point?
    Luke 21:31, 32: “When you see these things occurring, know that the kingdom of God is near [that is, the time when it will destroy the present wicked world and itself take full charge of earth’s affairs]. Truly I say to you, This generation will by no means pass away until all things occur.” (The “generation” that was alive at the beginning of fulfillment of the sign in 1914 is now well along in years. The time remaining must be very short. World conditions give every indication that this is the case.)

    October 3, 2013 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  11. SBob

    Who is doing your fact-checking John Cornyn and Ted Cruze are the US senators from TX. You have Joaquin Castro and Bill Flores as senators. They are not. They are House members.

    October 3, 2013 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  12. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Hell, where's Cruz?!
    WTF is up with these people?!
    We're getting screwed. Businesses in DC are slowing down to a crawl.
    Customers in my industry are delaying purchases or repairs of their vehicles.
    Everyone is holding their collective breath and yet the leadership in Congress AND the Senate are talking big s h it but are still accepting a paycheck?
    I don't want to hear smack about "we're donating it" I can't believe or be certain that you will.
    What I CAN be absolutely certain about is that you DID NOT ACCEPT A CHECK to begin with. That tells me that you're willing to share the UNNECESSARY pain that you've inflicted on innocent bystanders aka the citizens of this country.

    October 3, 2013 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  13. Suicidle

    If you believe that all of them will do what they say then I have some great water front property for sell in Iowa! Trust me!

    October 3, 2013 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  14. John

    Simple solution that the house voted on and Reid will not agree too which is taking the entire law of Obamacare and applying it to all even members of congress. All Waivers to business should be removed after all we have this thing called the constitution that stats in the 28th amendment which states Proposed 28th Amendment to the United States Constitution:

    “Congress shall make no law that applies to the citizens of the United States that does not apply equally to the Senators and/or Representatives; and, Congress shall make no law that applies to the Senators and/or Representatives that does not apply equally to the citizens of the United States”.

    October 3, 2013 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  15. Mikey

    Here's an idea: donate your paycheck toward the furloughed federal employees who are paying the price for your incompetence.

    October 3, 2013 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  16. Alissa Bach

    Although I am pleased to see Debbie Stabenow (D-Michigan) will be donating her paycheck until this gets sorted out, I am fully ashamed and embarrassed for the State of Michigan that more of our representatives aren't following suit. Get on the ball guys! If you're not doing work out of spite, you shouldn't get paid. That's how things work for the rest of us,

    October 3, 2013 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  17. Jlil

    Fire them all.

    October 3, 2013 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  18. Rudy NYC

    I know what could resolve the funding standoff. I really hate to say it, but a natural disaster like a major hurricane hitting the Gulf coast, requiring FEMA to take action, could definitely force the issue to resolve itself.

    October 3, 2013 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  19. ShawnDH

    Joe wrote: "It could be just a thought, but despite the shutdown, Congress is still working, and long into the night. Both sides are deadlocked by their beliefs, but at least they're working."

    Um, no. They are not "deadlocked by their beliefs." One party is trying to subvert democracy and stage a legislative copu because they can't win elections. The other party is defending our system of government.

    October 3, 2013 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  20. skippy

    Seriously? The ones "not accepting" can just go pick up their pay check quietly later.

    The ones donating get a third of it back tax time.

    October 3, 2013 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  21. Bob Abooey

    Well now. Don't we all feel better seeing this?

    October 3, 2013 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  22. Ethan

    Does it really matter what they are doing with their paychecks? They haven't earned them in the first place. I understand that they are trying to make a point, but I am hoping that come election day, the rest of the country makes a point by not re-electing a single one of these incompetent buffoons.

    October 3, 2013 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  23. callmecrazy

    Michelle Bachmann said "we got what we wanted" when shutting down the government. If she hates it so much, why does she work for it? She is still cashing her paycheck.

    October 3, 2013 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  24. Fact Checker

    I didn't realize Robert Pittenger was promoted to Senator, I must've missed that election. I though North Carolina Senators were Burr & Hagen. I must've missed that...

    October 3, 2013 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  25. dave

    Ok but all joking aside, they do need to continue top be paid. Otherwise the legislators with the most personal money do this every year to get what they want. I want my representative not worried about his finances but worried about mine.

    October 3, 2013 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
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