Bill proposes no pay for Congress, president during shutdown

Bill proposes no pay for Congress, president during shutdown
James Robertson holds at a rally during the government shutdown in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., Saturday, Jan. 26. (Source: AP Photo/Paul Sancya/AP)

(Gray News) – A trio of bipartisan representatives introduced a bill this week to withhold pay from lawmakers, including the president, during a government shutdown.

The bill, H.R. 845, which they’re calling the “Solidarity in Salary Act of 2019” was introduced by freshmen Reps. Jared Golden, D-ME, Dan Crenshaw, R-TX and Max Rose, D-NY.

The purpose of the bill, according to its text, is to “prohibit the payment of a salary to Members of Congress, the President, and the Vice President during periods during which a Government shutdown is in effect.”

The bill would direct each day’s pay for lawmakers during a shutdown into an escrow account, where that money would sit until the shutdown ends.

“Federal workers don’t get paid during a government shutdown. Neither should politicians,” Golden said in a release.

He said the legislation would “help prevent the American people from being political pawns for party leaders and help return sanity to the task of funding the government.”

Crenshaw, a former Navy SEAL who supports President Donald Trump’s efforts to secure funding for a border wall, said “federal employees should never have to carry the burden caused by a dysfunctional government.”

“We should have to feel the very real effects of a shutdown, just as our fellow federal employees are forced to do,” he added.

Rose, an Afghanistan veteran, tweeted, “If you don’t do your job, you shouldn’t get paid. This is common sense.”

Trump and Democrats opposed to the wall have a Feb. 15 deadline to come up with a deal, or the nine federal agencies that were closed for 35 days until last week would once again shutter.

The bill has been referred to the Oversight and Reform Committee.

Another bill in the Senate, introduced by Virginia Democrat Tim Kaine, would create a new trigger for automatic funding if it lapsed after the end of the fiscal year, as well as prevent the Senate from acting on non-emergency legislation until funding is in order.

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