Casey Urges Speaker Boehner To Quickly Pass Senate Bill To Prevent Lawmakers From Being Paid During A Government Shutdown

Measure Would Ensure that Members of Congress, President Would Have to Sacrifice During a Shutdown

WASHINGTON, DC— U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) today joined Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) in sending a letter urging House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) to immediately take up and pass their legislation that passed the Senate unanimously this week that would prevent Members of Congress and the President of the United States from being paid during a shutdown of the federal government.

The measure would fix a basic inequity that allows Members of Congress and the President to be paid during a government shutdown – while millions of other Federal employees are not – because lawmakers and the President are paid through mandatory spending rather than annual appropriations. The bill also would prevent Members of Congress and the President from being paid retroactively after a government shutdown.

The bill, which was passed unanimously by the Senate on Tuesday, is co-sponsored by Senators Manchin (D-WV), Tester (D-MT), Nelson (D-NE), Bennet (D-CO), Warner (D-VA), Wyden (D-OR), Coons (D-DE), Harkin (D-IA), Hagan (D-NC), Menendez (D-NJ), Stabenow (D-MI), Merkley (D-OR), Rockefeller (D-WV) and Brown (D-OH).  In the House, Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA) has introduced a similar bill.

The full text of the Senators’ letter is below:
 
March 4, 2011

The Honorable John Boehner
Speaker
United States House of Representatives
H-232 The Capitol
Washington, DC  20515

Dear Speaker Boehner:

On Tuesday, March 1, 2011 Democrats and Republicans in the Senate came together and unanimously passed S. 388, our legislation to prohibit Members of Congress and the President from receiving any pay during a government shutdown.  This legislation has been sent to the House of Representatives for its consideration.

Right now, in the event of a government shutdown, Members of Congress and the President would be treated differently from other Federal employees.  While Federal employees would not get paid, Members of Congress and the President would still receive a paycheck because we are paid through mandatory spending, rather than through annual appropriations.

We believe there is no reason that Members of Congress and the President should be free from the pain that would be felt by our nation if the government were to shut down.  If we cannot do our jobs and keep the government functioning, we should not get paid.
 
We request that the House immediately take up and pass this legislation in the same bipartisan spirit demonstrated by the Senate.
 
A government shutdown would be a disaster for our nation and for our economy.  We must resolve our differences to avoid a shutdown – and if we cannot, none of us should receive a paycheck while the rest of the nation suffers the consequences.

Sincerely,

Barbara Boxer
United States Senator

Robert P. Casey, Jr.
United States Senator


###