House

Dem bill would cut lawmaker pay during shutdowns

Greg Nash

Rep. Rick Nolan introduced legislation on Friday to prevent future Congresses from getting paid during government shutdowns.

The Minnesota Democrat’s proposal wouldn’t apply to the current Congress, which faces a potential government shutdown on Oct. 1 if lawmakers don’t pass a spending bill in time.

The Constitution’s 27th Amendment prohibits any law that changes lawmakers’ salaries during their current terms. Lawmakers can only enact measures that affect future sessions of Congress.

{mosads}Nolan said withholding lawmaker pay would put those serving in Congress on par with other federal employees who would be furloughed in the event of a shutdown.

“If hundreds of thousands of other federal employees are to go without their salaries — twisting slowly in the wind in a government shutdown — then the Congress should not be paid either,” Nolan said.

“This legislation would require the Congress to work full time — with no salary — during any government shutdown until they pass a bill to fund our government and pay the public employees who go to work on our behalf every day,” he added.

Many conservatives want to defund Planned Parenthood in the wake of controversial undercover videos depicting the organization’s use of fetal tissue donations with a spending bill as leverage. But such a measure does not have the votes to surmount a Democratic filibuster in the Senate or President Obama’s veto.

Only a handful of legislative days remain for Congress to pass a stopgap funding bill. Neither the House nor Senate currently has plans to vote next week on a bill to avoid a shutdown.

Some lawmakers opted to donate their pay to charity during the 16-day shutdown in 2013 over defunding ObamaCare.  

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