Three members of Congress introduced a bipartisan bill that would withhold pay from the president, vice president, and Congress in future government shutdowns.
Republican Texas Rep. Dan Crenshaw joined Democratic Maine Rep. Jared Golden and New York Rep. Max Rose to introduce the Solidarity in Salary Act, The Hill reported.
The bill seeks to “prevent and limit the duration of future shutdowns and ensure that lawmakers feel the harm they cause federal employees when they fail to fund the government.”
“Federal workers don’t get paid during a government shutdown. Neither should politicians,” Golden said in a statement. “This legislation will help prevent the American people from being political pawns for party leaders and help return sanity to the task of funding the government."
If passed, the bill would require all pay for the president, vice president, and Congress to be in escrow. The funds would then be released after the shutdown ends.
“Federal employees should never have to carry the burden caused by a dysfunctional government,” Crenshaw said. “We should have to feel the very real effects of a shutdown, just as our fellow federal employees are forced to do.”
“Only in a town as broken as Washington do you still get paid when you don’t do your job,” Rose said. “That’s wrong, and it’s past time to make it right.”
About 800,000 workers were furloughed or forced to work without pay during the 35-day shutdown. Congress has passed a bill to give backpay to all of those employees.
Many federal workers not getting paid:
While federal employees will receive backpay, hundreds of thousands of workers at federal contractors will not. Unlike federal employees, these contractors -- which include janitors, security staff, cafeteria workers, IT specialists -- work for third-party companies who are barred from doing business with the government during a shutdown. As a result, an untold number of people missed nearly 10 percent of their annual pay because of the funding lapse.
Democrats have introduced a bill to give backpay to those contractors, arguing that the funds have already been allocated, but not a single Republican has joined the 20 Democratic co-sponsors of the bill.