GOP senators introduce bill to end pensions for retiring lawmakers

Republican Sens. Rick Scott (Fla.) and Mike BraunMichael BraunOvernight Energy: Trump EPA looks to change air pollution permit process | GOP senators propose easing Obama water rule | Green group sues EPA over lead dust rules The 23 Republicans who opposed Trump-backed budget deal Pair of GOP senators propose easing Obama water rule MORE (Ind.) introduced a bill on Tuesday to end taxpayer-funded pensions for members of Congress. 

“When Congress failed to do their job and created the longest government shutdown in history, hardworking Americans were forced to go without pay while members of Congress were still collecting paychecks. That is wrong and is exactly why I’m fighting to reform Washington,” Scott said in a statement. 

“Americans should not have to foot the bill for generous salaries and pensions for members of Congress, and I’m proud to be working on common sense solutions to make Washington work for families across the nation.”

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The introduction of the End Pensions in Congress (EPIC) Act comes as lawmakers attempt to negotiate a funding deal before triggering another possible partial government shutdown. The most recent 35-day shutdown resulted in roughly one-quarter of the government closing, leaving around 800,000 federal workers furloughed or working without pay.

Braun, a former businessman, said he would "never" accept his Senate pension, but, "if forced to," said he would donate “every penny” to Indiana charities. 

Members of Congress are eligible to collect pensions after at least five years on Capitol Hill. The amount is calculated by averaging a member’s three highest-paying salaries, their years in office and the set accrual rate. 

Braun introduced the No Budget, No Pay Act in January, which would cut off congressional salaries if Congress fails to pass a budget triggering a government shutdown. Scott co-sponsored that legislation.

Congressional salaries were the focus of intense scrutiny after the weeks-long shutdown from late December to January left federal employees to miss two paychecks during the closure. Several members of Congress asked that their salaries be forfeited or declared they would donate any money they received during that time.