New bill would withhold pay from Senate until coronavirus stimulus package passes

Sen. Martha McSallyMartha Elizabeth McSallyTrump nominee's long road to Fed may be dead end McSally, staff asked to break up maskless photo op inside Capitol McSally's final floor speech: 'I gave it my all, and I left it all on the field' MORE (R-Ariz.) has introduced legislation that would withhold pay from all Senate members until the chamber passes a coronavirus stimulus package in response to the national outbreak.

“If Americans aren’t getting paid, then neither should the Senators failing to support the workers and families who need help making ends meet,” McSally said in a statement on Tuesday

“Today, I introduced legislation to have Senators’ pay withheld until relief is passed. It is despicable that millions of Americans are without a paycheck in this time of crisis, while the Senate wastes precious time playing political games,” she continued. “The Senate must pass this relief package now in order to get cash straight to the people.”


Under the measure, which McSally’s office also dubbed the “No COVID-19 Relief, No Pay” bill, all U.S. senators would see their salaries held in escrow until the chamber advances legislation “that appropriately addresses the COVID-19 outbreak,” the bill states. 

“If, by March 24, 2020, the Senate does not pass COVID-19 relief legislation, then, for the duration of the covered period, the Secretary of the Senate shall— deposit in an escrow account all payments otherwise required to be made during the covered period for the compensation of the Senators,” the bill states. 

If it is passed, the measure states that senators will be unable to access their salaries either until the Senate passes coronavirus relief legislation or the last day of the current Congress.

The move by McSally, who is facing a tough election this fall, comes as lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have struggled to reach a bipartisan agreement on a stimulus package amid the coronavirus pandemic.

On Sunday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) took aim at Democrats for blocking a massive stimulus package and accused them of "playing games." However, Senate Democrats have defended voting against the GOP bill, arguing the measure included multiple “non-starters” and calling it a $500 billion "corporate slush fund." 

Since then, House Democrats have released a stimulus proposal that would, if passed, provide adults in the U.S. with payments of $1,500 as part of a stimulus relief package. Families in the U.S. would also be able to receive payments of $1,500 per child for each household under the proposal, which comes as a number of Americans continue to struggle as multiple states have shuttered nonessential businesses in recent weeks to curb the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak.