Like Countable?

Install the App
TRY NOW

house Bill H. Joint Res. 18

Should the Constitution Prohibit Congress From Getting Paid During Shutdowns?

Argument in favor

It’s unfair that members of Congress — whose job it is to run the government — can be paid during a government shutdown, when the government isn’t fully functioning because they’ve failed to do their jobs. Members shouldn’t be paid at all for days when the government is closed.

Lisa's Opinion
···
01/12/2019
Don’t stop there.....no income for the President. Freeze his accounts and those of his family who work with him.
Like (411)
Follow
Share
Lauren's Opinion
···
01/12/2019
If you make the mess, then you suffer the consequences. Simple. It should start now.
Like (178)
Follow
Share
SneakyPete's Opinion
···
01/12/2019
👍🏻 Agreed........ NO WORK -Senators/Representatives - NO PAY. 👍🏻 It’s unfair that members of Congress — whose job it is to run the government — can be paid during a government shutdown, when the government isn’t fully functioning because they’ve failed to do their jobs. Members shouldn’t be paid at all for days when the government is closed. SneakyPete....... 🙀👍🏻👍🏻🙀. 1*12*19..........
Like (147)
Follow
Share

Argument opposed

Past efforts to amend the Constitution to not pay Congress during shutdowns have failed, and there’s no reason to think this attempt would be any more successful. Additionally, many members of Congress are independently wealthy, so this wouldn’t impact them..

Ray's Opinion
···
01/12/2019
Absolutely not. What this proposal means is that the president can effectively punish the other equal branch of the government that has the constitutional purse power whenever he or she wants even if they had nothing to do with it. Consider the current situation we are facing today, our tv president wants to have a wall and because the congress doesn’t believe it’s the right priority at this time, we have a government shutdown. In the mean time, the Congress is not effected by the shutdown and continues to work.
Like (71)
Follow
Share
RjGoodman's Opinion
···
01/12/2019
No, this is an interesting dilemma. While I feel like they should not be paid, it runs counter to another goal of mine; to get more legislators who are not from the top 1%. I would not want legislators making decisions based on their finances. We have to get our Legislature and President to understand that we expect budgets are to be approved prior to the end of the fiscal year.
Like (45)
Follow
Share
Joshua's Opinion
···
01/12/2019
If we're going to go as far as trying to amend the Constitution, I'd rather go for a change to the budget process that prevents the possibility of shutdowns, rather than just penalizing Congress for allowing them to happen.
Like (15)
Follow
Share

joint resolution Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on the Judiciary
    IntroducedJanuary 3rd, 2019

What is House Bill H. Joint Res. 18?

This constitutional amendment would amend the U.S. Constitution to prohibit members of Congress from drawing pay during a government shutdown. Because the 27th Amendment forbids Congress from raising or lowering its pay, this bill would take effect during the Congress after its enactment, and would then be applied to each new Congress going forward.

As a proposed constitutional amendment, this resolution would have to pass both chambers of Congress with a two-thirds vote and be ratified by three-fourths of the state legislatures (38 states) to amend the Constitution and take effect.

Impact

Members of Congress; and the Constitution.

Cost of House Bill H. Joint Res. 18

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthRep. Ralph Norman (R-SC) reintroduced this constitutional amendment from the 115th Congress to prevent members of Congress from receiving pay during a government shutdown:

“Today, I took a step to bring common-sense back to the federal government – I introduced a constitutional amendment that would prevent Members of Congress from getting paid during a government shutdown It’s shocking to me that this is even an issue, where else in America would employees get paid for failing to do their jobs. Members have a Constitutional duty to keep the government open and funded. As it stands now, Members of Congress still receive their paycheck, even when they cannot keep the government running. This just is not right. It is time to bring a dose of reality to the swamp. If we cannot do our jobs, then we do not deserve to get paid, plain and simple. It does not count to delay pay or get back pay as is the case with government employees. In the event of a shut-down we have failed the American people, and therefore have not earned our pay. Maybe the threat of losing of money will incentivize Representatives and Senators to return to regular order. I am willing to take whatever steps are necessary to bring accountability and common-sense back to the way our government operates.”

During the October 2013 government shutdown, former Sen. George Voinovich (R-OH) argued that Congress shouldn’t get paid during shutdowns:

“It is especially disheartening that our federal workforce, which has always exemplified the professionalism of our country, has been demonized, demoralized and relegated to the status of a political football. A string of bills and amendments to freeze federal pay, cut training, roll back benefits, curb hiring and furlough federal employees -- including congressional staff -- has created an environment which has resulted in the flight of the most brilliant, dedicated and productive workers into other professions… It is criminal that after forcing these continual debt debacles on the American people, members of Congress are still able to cash their paychecks. It is unjust and unconscionable that Congress should continue getting paid while hard-working federal employees such as FBI and DEA agents, border patrol agents, National Park Service employees and other federal workers are either being furloughed or given IOUs on their paychecks.”

In the current Congress, this constitutional amendment has the support of 13 cosponsors, all of whom are Republicans. In the previous Congress, it had the support of six cosponsors, all of whom were Republicans.

In January 2018, Sens. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Jon Tester (D-MT), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), and Joe Manchin (D-WV) introduced a Senate bill, the No Government No Pay Act of 2018, that’d withhold members of Congress’ pay during a government shutdown. As of January 2019, that bill has yet to receive a committee vote.

Lawmakers have repeatedly tried to pass legislation freezing Congressional pay in a shutdown, but such a bill has yet to pass both chambers of Congress.


Of NoteCurrently, members of the House and Senate continue to draw paychecks during government shutdowns, while their staffers and other federal workers are either sent home or see their paychecks delayed. This is because Congress’ salaries are written into the Constitution. Article 1, Section 6 of the U.S. Constitution allows lawmakers to still get paid their salaries despite the federal government being shut down.

After the partial government shutdown took effect on Friday, December 21, 2018, Representative-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted that Congressional pay should be furloughed during a shutdown:

“Next time we have a [government] shutdown, Congressional salaries should be furloughed as well. It’s completely unacceptable that members of Congress can force a government shutdown on partisan lines & then have Congressional salaries exempt from that decision. Have some integrity.”

Rep-elect Ocasio-Cortez added that she hoped this would “cause members who actually depend on their salary to think twice about leadership and take a shutdown vote more seriously.”

During the December 2018 government shutdown, some members of Congress chose to donate their salaries during the shutdown. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) donated her salary to a Nevada charity for every day of the “Trump shutdown,” tweeting:

“I cannot take a salary during a government shutdown knowing that so many federal workers in Nevada and across the country will go without pay. I’ll be donating my salary to a Nevada charity for every day of the Trump shutdown.”

Rep. Francis Rooney (R-FL) donated his pay to the Collier County Honor Flight program, Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) donated his pay to TheDream.us, and Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) donated her pay to Hawaii’s federally qualified community health centers.

Reps. Elise Stafanik (R-NY), Mark Walker (R-SC), and Matt Gaetz (R-FL) requested that her pay be withheld during the partial government shutdown. Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-FL) pledged to return her salary every day that the government was shut down, stating that:

"Members from both parties should not get paid if they cannot work together to pass a full-year budget that funds our military and critical domestic priorities. That is why I will return my salary every day that the government is shut down. Lurching from one short-term continuing resolution to another is reckless and wrong. It degrades our military readiness, disrupts essential government services that American families rely on, and hurts small businesses that depend on federal contracts, grants, and loans."

During the October 2013 government shutdown, which lasted 16 days, over 800,000 people working for the federal government were furloughed, and a total of 248 members of Congress from both parties donated their salaries or refused to take their pay.


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / mj0007)

AKA

Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to prohibit Members of Congress from receiving compensation for any period during which a Government shutdown is in effect.

Official Title

Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to prohibit Members of Congress from receiving compensation for any period during which a Government shutdown is in effect.

    Don’t stop there.....no income for the President. Freeze his accounts and those of his family who work with him.
    Like (411)
    Follow
    Share
    Absolutely not. What this proposal means is that the president can effectively punish the other equal branch of the government that has the constitutional purse power whenever he or she wants even if they had nothing to do with it. Consider the current situation we are facing today, our tv president wants to have a wall and because the congress doesn’t believe it’s the right priority at this time, we have a government shutdown. In the mean time, the Congress is not effected by the shutdown and continues to work.
    Like (71)
    Follow
    Share
    If you make the mess, then you suffer the consequences. Simple. It should start now.
    Like (178)
    Follow
    Share
    👍🏻 Agreed........ NO WORK -Senators/Representatives - NO PAY. 👍🏻 It’s unfair that members of Congress — whose job it is to run the government — can be paid during a government shutdown, when the government isn’t fully functioning because they’ve failed to do their jobs. Members shouldn’t be paid at all for days when the government is closed. SneakyPete....... 🙀👍🏻👍🏻🙀. 1*12*19..........
    Like (147)
    Follow
    Share
    Yes and the White House. Are they not federal employees elected by we the people and payed by we the people. The answer is yes. Also they should be charge for the shutdown personally. If Obama did this the republicans would be in an uproar. Impeachment would have been done in the first year. I watched a federal employee on tv saying he voted for trump, but was not sure about him now, you think? Another uninformed person the only watch Fox fake news, Rush L and Sinclair. He said Trump done a lot, for himself, nothing for the American people.
    Like (66)
    Follow
    Share
    The constitution should prohibit shut downs. At least this wsy congress wouldn't have the option of not doing their job.
    Like (51)
    Follow
    Share
    No, this is an interesting dilemma. While I feel like they should not be paid, it runs counter to another goal of mine; to get more legislators who are not from the top 1%. I would not want legislators making decisions based on their finances. We have to get our Legislature and President to understand that we expect budgets are to be approved prior to the end of the fiscal year.
    Like (45)
    Follow
    Share
    If any part of our government shuts down then our elected leaders should not receive pay either. Our leaders are supposed to represent us and therefore should be treated the same when these decisions are made.
    Like (39)
    Follow
    Share
    Yes. It should also prevent Congress from authorizing any back payments missed as part of a shut down. And it should prevent our government being able to vote itself a credit limit increase. And it should require a balanced budget.
    Like (25)
    Follow
    Share
    Light a fire under their a$$es!
    Like (23)
    Follow
    Share
    Congress will never vote for this. The only way it will happen is for the people to demand a convention of states to amend the constitution. Sign the petition at ConventionOfStates.com
    Like (21)
    Follow
    Share
    This is a weirdly worded question, as this is a bill. Bills can’t change the constitution. Only a constitutional convention can do that. Still, the premise is great and should have been done a long time ago. Why the hell are greedy corporate-bought politicians getting paid (and still have .01% healthcare and other benefits) when 80,000 people who live paycheck-to-paycheck suddenly have no money and no time to go look for other jobs to fill in because they’re expected to work. Last time I checked, working for free when you should be paid is called slavery.
    Like (20)
    Follow
    Share
    This needs to further . The amendment should move the United States Federal elected offices to publicly funded eliminating the corruption of money , limit what benefits they receive , and limit lobbying activities by former federal officials ..
    Like (19)
    Follow
    Share
    Yes if workers aren’t paid, Congress should not be Paid either!
    Like (16)
    Follow
    Share
    If we're going to go as far as trying to amend the Constitution, I'd rather go for a change to the budget process that prevents the possibility of shutdowns, rather than just penalizing Congress for allowing them to happen.
    Like (15)
    Follow
    Share
    Absolutely
    Like (15)
    Follow
    Share
    It will be the incentive our representatives need in order to work together to get things done versus taking off Thursday night to begin a three day weekend!
    Like (14)
    Follow
    Share
    If Congress can’t keep the government running, they should not be paid. Our elected officials work for us, not the other way around. If they fail at keeping the government running, why are they still getting paid?
    Like (13)
    Follow
    Share
    Congress is supposed to govern, making things better for U. S. A. and it’s citizens, including “provide for the general welfare”. So if they can’t seem to do what they were sent to Washington to do, no production, NO PAY !!!
    Like (13)
    Follow
    Share
    If hundreds of thousands of people can be forced to work without pay during a shutdown then congress should be a part of that. And Congress SHOULDN’T be eligible for backpay; maybe that would light a fire and incentivize them to actually do their jobs in the first place.
    Like (12)
    Follow
    Share
    MORE