Senate Dems to Boehner: Strip lawmaker pay in case of shutdown

Democratic senators sought to pressure House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to take up and pass a bill stripping lawmakers of their pay in the case of a government shutdown.

Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Bob Casey (D-Pa.) wrote Boehner on Friday to ask him to take up a bill that unanimously passed the Senate earlier this week, which would prevent members of Congress from collecting a paycheck if the government shuts down.

"We believe there is no reason that Members of Congress and the President should be free from the pain that would be felt by our nation if the government were to shut down. If we cannot do our jobs and keep the government functioning, we should not get paid," the Democrats wrote in a letter to Boehner.

"We request that the House immediately take up and pass this legislation in the same bipartisan spirit demonstrated by the Senate," the pair added.

The House is most likely not going to take up such a bill. Rather, the legislation is more of a political power play by Senate Democrats, who have sought to cast House Republicans as politically motivated in budget and spending debates.

Congress passed a bill earlier this week prolonging a government shutdown that would have happened at the end of the day, had they not come to an agreement on a long-term spending measure for the rest of this fiscal year. Instead, the deadline is now March 18. Lawmakers started negotiations with Vice President Joe Biden and members of the administration over a long-term deal on Thursday.