WASHINGTON – Congressman Vern Buchanan today announced that he will refuse to accept his Congressional salary in the event of a government shutdown. He also introduced legislation to amend the U.S. Constitution to prohibit members of Congress from receiving a paycheck while a shutdown is in effect. Buchanan is joined in introducing the legislation by Representative Ralph Norman (R-SC).
“No small business in America would pay someone who refuses to do their job,” said Buchanan. “So why should taxpayers pay a Congress that fails to perform one of its most basic, fundamental responsibilities – funding the federal government? They shouldn’t, which is why I’m refusing to accept my Congressional salary for as long as a potential shutdown lasts and have introduced legislation to block senators and members of Congress from receiving a paycheck during a shutdown.”
In a letter this morning, Buchanan informed the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) of the U.S. House of Representatives that he will refuse to accept his Congressional paycheck throughout the duration of a potential shutdown. As he has done during previous shutdowns, Buchanan will donate the money to charity.
While the Constitution requires members of the U.S. House and Senate to be paid no matter what, members may choose to have their pay withheld during a shutdown, but their pay will be disbursed once the shutdown has concluded. Buchanan and Norman’s proposed amendment to the Constitution would prohibit Congress from receiving any compensation during a period in which a full or partial government shutdown is in effect without backpay.
“This is yet another sad example of Washington's dysfunction and I will do everything in my power to ensure congressional leaders stay at the table and reach an agreement,” said Buchanan in the letter.
You can read the full letter here or below.
Dear Ms. Szpindor,
Congress has no responsibility more fundamental than to fund the day-to-day operations of the federal government. Failing to fund the federal government threatens military preparedness and hurts the pockets of federal employees, including military personnel and border patrol officers.
However, despite a potential government shutdown, members of Congress will continue receiving their salary. Therefore, I will refuse to accept and ask that you withhold any paychecks for as long as the federal government remains shuttered.
This is yet another sad example of Washington's dysfunction and I will do everything in my power to ensure congressional leaders stay at the table and reach an agreement.
Member of Congress