April 07, 2011

Manchin's 'No Budget, No Pay' Pledge Gains Bipartisan Support

Manchin urges President, Vice President and all Congressional colleagues to join him in “No Budget, No Pay” pledge

Washington, D.C. — Republicans and Democrats alike are joining U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) in his “No Budget, No Pay” pledge to forego their federal salaries if the government shuts down. Just a few hours ago, Senator Manchin began circulating a letter urging all his colleagues – from the President and Vice President to all Members of the House and Senate – to do the same, and either give their salaries to the U.S. Treasury Department or donate them to charities.

“I’m so encouraged that, in this short period of time, more than two dozen of my fellow lawmakers have signed this pledge to give up their pay as long as the federal government is shut down,” Senator Manchin said. “I’m hopeful that, by tomorrow, the President, Vice President and all 535 Members of Congress will show that they are willing to stand with the American people in sharing the hardship of this potential shutdown.”

Signatories to the pledge so far include:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid

Senator Max Baucus (D-MT)

Senator Mark Begich (D-AK)

Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO)

Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT)

Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA)

Senator Scott Brown (R-MA)

Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH)

Senator Richard Burr (R-NC)

Senator Susan Collins (R-ME)

Senator Chris Coons (D-DE)

Senator Bob Corker (R-TN)

Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL)

Senator Herb Kohl (D-WI)

Senator John McCain (R-AZ)

Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD)

Senator Ben Nelson (D-NE)

Senator Rob Portman (R-OH)

Representative Nick Rahall (D-WV)

Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV)

Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)

Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME)

Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)

Senator Jon Tester (D-MT)

Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA)

In a letter he began circulating today to his colleagues, Senator Manchin says it does not make any sense for elected officials to get paid during a government shutdown.

“The bottom line is this: I can’t imagine that the President, Vice President or any Member of Congress – Republican or Democrat – thinks they should get paid when the government has shut down,” Senator Manchin wrote. “Some in Washington will deride this as an empty gesture. To those naysayers, I say that the American people expect more of us. They expect us to lead by example and share their pain until a budget resolution is reached that reflects our values and priorities as a country.”

The “No Budget, No Pay” pledge was inspired by legislation that passed unanimously in the Senate. Senators Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Bob Casey (D-Penn.) cosponsored a bill to would prevent lawmakers and the President from drawing a salary if the government shuts down. Senator Manchin was a cosponsor of that legislation. However, the House of Representatives has not brought the bill to the floor for a vote.

A full copy of Senator Manchin’s letter is attached.