February 25, 2011

Manchin Sponsors Legislation Refusing His Pay if Government Is Shut Down

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) today signed on to legislation that would prohibit Members of Congress and the President from being paid during a government shutdown or if the government hits the debt limit.

“If Washington can’t figure out a commonsense, bipartisan plan to fund the government, no one will pay a higher price than hard-working families across West Virginia and the United States,” Senator Manchin said. “It defies all common sense to keep paying elected officials when the government isn’t doing its job. We must come together with commonsense budget priorities and cuts in the coming days to do what is right for our economy and ensure that we are keeping our promises to our seniors, our servicemembers, our veterans, and those who are counting on us.”  

Currently, Members of Congress and the President are treated differently from other federal employees. Members of Congress are paid by mandatory spending required by law, rather than through the annual appropriations process. The proposed legislation fixes this inequity by stating that Members of Congress and the President shall not receive basic pay for any period in which there is more than a 24 hour lapse in appropriations for any federal agency or department as a result of a failure to enact a regular appropriations bill or continuing resolution, or if the federal government is not able to make payments or meet obligations because the debt limit has been reached.

The bill also prohibits Members of Congress from receiving pay retroactively.

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