MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Do members of Congress get paid during the shutdown? That’s a Good Question from Mary, Marliss and Trish.
Here’s why: U.S. Senators and Representatives are paid differently than other government employees.
Most federal workers are getting their paychecks because Congress passed appropriation bills to fund their department.
That’s not how it works with members of Congress. Their salaries are written into law. Article 1, Section 6 of the U.S. Constitution reads, “The Senators and Representatives shall receive a Compensation for their Services, to be ascertained by Law, and paid out of the Treasury of the United States.
Experts say don’t expect how members of Congress are paid to change anytime soon. According to the 27th Amendment, the elected officials cannot change their salaries during the current term. The idea there is that sitting members can’t give themselves raises.
When contacted by WCCO, Sen. Klobuchar’s spokesperson said during past shutdowns, the Senator has “donated her pay to charity and plans on doing something similar this year.”
Sen. Smith said she will donate her shutdown pay to The Advocates for Human Rights. Rep. Stauber will donate to the Domestic Abuse Prevention Program. Rep. Phillips will donate to Cornerstone Minnesota, Second Harvest Heartland and Vietnam Veterans of America.
According to a spokesperson for Rep. McCollum, “Congresswoman McCollum is accepting her salary as she fights to end the shutdown and reopen the federal government.”
Rep. Emmer says he’s asked the Chief Administration Officer to withhold his pay until government funding is restored.
Rep. Hagedorn will defer his pay until the shutdown is over.
A spokesperson for Rep. Omar said, “I don’t have an answer for you just yet on this, but will let you know when/if I do.”
Rep. Peterson did not return WCCO’s request for information.