Senate Democrats Introduce Legislation to Withhold Lawmaker Pay During Shutdown

Five Senate Democrats introduced a bill Friday to withhold pay from members of Congress if the government closes, The Hill reported.

“If members of Congress can’t fulfill their basic duty to keep the government open and provide the essential services Americans depend on, then they don’t deserve their paychecks,” Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) told the publication. “Period.”

Heitkamp is joined by Sens. Claire McCaskill (Mo.), Jon Tester (Mont.), Debbie Stabenow (Mich.) and Joe Manchin (W.V.), all of whom are up for re-election this year.

Democratic Reps. Sean Patrick Maloney (N.Y.) and Stephanie Murphy (Fla.) took to Twitter to share their vows to return their pay if the government closes, even if the bill doesn’t pass.

“The people I represent wouldn’t get paid if they didn’t do their job – and neither should Congress,” Maloney wrote:

Stabenow, one of the bill’s sponsors, told The Hill she felt it was wrong for Congress to receive pay during a shutdown when military personnel would not be paid, but still asked to work.

“It’s wrong that members of Congress would still get paid in the event of a shutdown while paychecks for members of our military could be disrupted,” Stabenow said. “This bill ensures members of Congress will not get paid and another bill I have cosponsored makes sure our troops will.”

The Senate is expected to vote Friday evening on a short-term spending bill that passed the House on Thursday, however, it is unlikely to receive the 60 votes necessary to pass.

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