When the Senate could not reach an agreement on the continuing resolution by 11:59 pm Eastern Time on Friday, the latest government shutdown officially began. One of the consequences for a shutdown is furloughing many federal government employees — including active duty, National Guard, and Reserve military service members — meaning they will not get paid until the shutdown ends.
This has resulted in several members of Congress doing something shocking: voluntarily forgoing their own paychecks until the shutdown ends.
Among those who are giving up their paychecks is Rep. Mia Love (R-UT), who sent a letter to Philip Kiko, the Chief Administrative Officer for the House of Representatives. Love’s letter states that she has “been informed that despite a lapse of appropriations and current government shutdown, Members of Congress will continue receiving their salary.”
“Please withhold my pay until an appropriations agreement has taken effect,” wrote Love.
Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX) sent a similar letter to Kiko, requesting his pay to be withheld until the shutdown is resolved, and further requesting that he “receive the same furlough procedural consideration that all other federal employees will receive once the appropriations process has been resolved.”
There's no good reason why Members should receive pay during a #shutdown while fed employees suffer. That's why I plan to ask that my salary be withheld while we work to restore government funding. Please know that during this time my team and I are still working to serve #TX23. pic.twitter.com/3xVP2CPlVm
— Rep. Will Hurd (@HurdOnTheHill) January 20, 2018
According to Military.com’s statement about the shutdown, active duty troops, as well as Guard and Reservists on active duty orders, are still required to show up for work, but will not get paid without a separate legislative authorization from Congress. If that is not done and the shutdown has not yet resolved, these military service members will receive partial paychecks on February 1 just for the days they worked prior to January 20 (the first day of the shutdown).
Military retirement, survivors’ benefits, VA disability pay, and GI Bill payments will still be paid as usual, because they come from different funds. If the shutdown continues for several weeks, however, it could effect those checks being issued.
Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), cited the fact that the our military was not getting paid as the specific reason she did not want to be paid either, and posted a short video on her Twitter account:
If the military doesn't get paid during the shutdown, members of Congress shouldn't either. I wrote a letter to withhold my paycheck. pic.twitter.com/YyVXEVJfbD
— Sen. Marsha Blackburn (@MarshaBlackburn) January 20, 2018
Some of the other members of Congress who are voluntarily forgoing their salaries are Rep. Lou Barletta (R-PA), Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO), Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-VA), Rep. Daniel Donovan (R-NY), Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-KS), Rep. Bob Latta (R-OH), Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY), Rep. Tom McArthur (R-NJ), Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), and Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY).
Follow Sarah Rumpf on Twitter: @rumpfshaker.