Five Democratic senators—not coincidentally, all five are from states won by President Trump in the 2016 presidential election—introduced legislation Friday to withhold pay from members of Congress whenever there is a government shutdown.
Sens. Heidi Heitkamp (ND), Claire McCaskill (MO), Jon Tester (MT), Debbie Stabenow (MI), and Joe Manchin (WV)—all of whom are up for reelection this year—announced the bill Friday, hours before the GOP shut down funding for all government services. As Heitkamp said in a statement,
If members of Congress can’t fulfill their basic duty to keep the government open and provide the essential services Americans depend on, then they don’t deserve their paycheck. Period.
Stabenow echoed Heitkamp’s remarks in the statement and vowed to donate her salary in the event of a shutdown even if the bill doesn’t pass.
“It’s wrong that members of Congress would still get paid in the event of a shutdown while paychecks for members of our military could be disrupted,” Stabenow said. “This bill ensures members of Congress will not get paid and another bill I have cosponsored makes sure our troops will.”
Democratic Reps. Sean Patrick Maloney (NY) and Stephanie Murphy (FL) also vowed Friday to forgo their pay. The government shut down at midnight Friday night, the first shutdown since 2013:
I'll give up my paycheck if the government shuts down.
I'm sending a letter to the House Chief Administrative Office asking that my pay be withheld in the event of a shutdown. The people I represent wouldn't get paid if they didn't do their job – and neither should Congress. pic.twitter.com/SRBKwuBVyq
— Sean Patrick Maloney (@RepSeanMaloney) January 19, 2018
Members of Congress shouldn't collect a salary while thousands of government employees are furloughed without pay. I’ll return my salary for every day the government is shut down because it's the right thing to do. #FlaPol
— Rep Stephanie Murphy (@RepStephMurphy) January 19, 2018
House Republicans passed a short-term government spending bill Thursday, but the GOP-controlled Senate didn’t have enough votes to pass any funding bill. Trump refused to accept any compromise from the Democrats over immigration.
In North Dakota & around the country, if you don’t do your job, you don’t get paid — Congress should be no exception. That’s why I’ve introduced a bill to ban paying members of Congress during a government shutdown. https://t.co/MbxhhB7Uf3
— Heidi Heitkamp (@HeidiHeitkamp) January 20, 2018
I don’t think there’s any reason for a gov't shutdown, esp. bc there’s a bipartisan path forward. And I definitely don’t think Congress should get paid while not doing our jobs. That’s why I cosponsored a bill that would withhold congressional pay in the event of a shutdown.
— Tina Smith (@SenTinaSmith) January 20, 2018
That's trump's tweet! pic.twitter.com/Rj543hg5u5
— Elizabeth (@Elizabe21641277) January 20, 2018
Air Force One should be grounded during a strike. pic.twitter.com/X1t02aVBIo
— Pedro Lupe (@PedroLupe1) January 20, 2018