More than 60 members of Congress reject pay during shutdown

Posted at 11:00 AM, Jan 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-09 13:00:40-05

As federal employees brace themselves for their first missed paychecks should lawmakers fail to reach a consensus by midnight Tuesday, some members of Congress have decided to join them in a show of solidarity and refuse their paychecks.

So far, 64 members of Congress say they will turn down their paychecks during the partial government shutdown, according to social media posts and statements reviewed by CNN. That comprises 13 senators and 51 representatives, with members from both parties making up a similar proportion of those going without pay. Fourteen representatives passing on pay are newly elected and were sworn in this year.

While most have asked House Chief Administrative Officer Phil Kiko to withhold their pay, others say they plan to donate it to particular charities or causes.

Among them is Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat who tweeted on New Year’s Day — the day after she announced she would explore a 2020 presidential run — that she would be donating her paycheck to HIAS, a nonprofit that helps refugees.

Several members of Congress have also pushed legislation that would penalize members for allowing a shutdown to occur. Rep. Kurt Schrader, an Oregon Democrat, introduced a bill in 2017 that would automatically dock members’ pay during government shutdowns, and Rep. Ralph Norman, a South Carolina Republican, introduced a constitutional amendment the day before the government shut down that would ban them from being paid.

Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, one of seven House Republicans who voted to reopen the federal government, urged all members to join him in declining his paycheck.

“Everybody ought to follow the lead that several of us have already set: Don’t get paid,” he told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Monday. “If you’re in Congress, don’t just delay your pay — forfeit it, write a check back to the US Treasury. Then you’ll feel the pain of these federal workers.”

Here are the members of Congress who won’t receive their paychecks during the shutdown:

House of Representatives


  • Sen. Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) (donating to West Virginia food banks)
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) (donating to refugee group HIAS)
  • Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) (donating to Hawaiian food banks)
  • Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nevada) (donating to Nevada charity)
  • Sen. Mark Warner (D-Virginia) (donating to unspecified charity)
  • Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin) (donating to The Boys & Girls Club of Oshkosh)
  • Sen. Todd Young (R-Indiana) (donating to the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation)
  • Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pennsylvania)
  • Sen. Steve Daines (R-Montana)
  • Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut) (donating to Homes For The Brave)
  • Sen. Jacky Rosen (new, D-Nevada) (donating to domestic violence survivor programs in Nevada)
  • Sen. Tina Smith (D-Minnesota) (donating to Advocates for Human Rights)
  • Sen. John Hoeven (R-North Dakota) (donating to charity, likely the North Dakota National Guard Foundation and the United Way’s Emergency Homeless Shelter in Bismarck)

-Caroline Kelly reporting for CNN

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