Members of Congress shouldn't receive their salaries if the government shuts down, Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) said Wednesday.

"If we do shut down, members of Congress shouldn't get any pay during the shutdown," Snowe told Maine radio station WLOB. "I don't think members should get any pay."

ADVERTISEMENT
Snowe's comments come a day after 21 Senate Democrats sent a letter to House Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerRestoring fiscal sanity requires bipartisan courage GOP congressman slams primary rival for Ryan donations Speculation swirls about Kevin McCarthy’s future MORE (R-Ohio) requesting a meeting to discuss legislation sponsored by Sen. Barbara BoxerBarbara Levy BoxerKamala Harris endorses Gavin Newsom for California governor Dems face hard choice for State of the Union response Billionaire Steyer to push for Dem House push MORE (D-Calif.) that would prevent lawmakers and the president from getting paid during a shutdown. 

"Our bill is simple: If we cannot do our work and keep the government functioning, we should not receive a paycheck," the Democrats' letter reads. "If we cannot compromise and meet each other halfway, then we should not be paid."

On the Senate floor Tuesday, Boxer called it "appalling and embarrassing" that “Speaker BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerRestoring fiscal sanity requires bipartisan courage GOP congressman slams primary rival for Ryan donations Speculation swirls about Kevin McCarthy’s future MORE has not done one thing to make sure his members and he do not get paid in case of shutdown."

Snowe did not say whether she thought the president should receive a salary during a shutdown.

Both the Democrats' urging and Snowe's statement come as the deadline to avoid a shutdown after April 8 looms. Recently, Democrats have been saying that a compromise around a deal that would cut $33 billion from current federal spending was close, but Boehner has criticized that number as “not enough.”

President Obama on Tuesday criticized Congress's failure to reach a deal by now, saying there is "no excuse" for dragging out the spending talks.

Josiah Ryan contributed.