Senator Bob Casey is out in front of rumors of a federal shut down, with his message that lawmakers shouldn’t get paid if the government is off duty. Casey is signing on to a bill from California Senator Barbara Boxer that would preclude the President and Members of Congress from receiving pay during any lapse in appropriations for the government.
Here’s the release:
Casey: Block Congressional Pay During A Government Shutdown
Threat of a Government Shutdown Should be Taken Off the Table
WASHINGTON, DC— U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) today called for the pay of Members of Congress and the President of the United States to be blocked in the event of a federal government [shut down]. A government shutdown had been threatened by some Washington politicians.
“Economists have warned that a government shutdown would hurt the economy and endanger job creation,” said Senator Casey. “A shutdown in a fragile economic recovery will hurt people who have already suffered through the recession. If it comes to a government shutdown, everyone should agree that Members of Congress and the President should not receive pay or retroactive pay.”
Washington Republican leaders have refused to take the threat of a government shutdown off the table, even though a shutdown would affect the lives of millions of Americans by disrupting Social Security checks, benefits for veterans and paychecks for our troops.
The legislation introduced today with Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) prevents Members of Congress and the President from being paid retroactively after a government shutdown and would also prevent them from being paid if the public debt limit is reached and the government defaults on its financial obligations.
Currently, Members of Congress and the President are treated differently from millions of other Federal Employees because they are paid through mandatory spending required by law (2 U.S.C. 31 and 3 U.S.C 102) rather than through the annual appropriations process.
The legislation fixes this inequity by saying that the President and Members of Congress “shall not receive basic pay for any period in which there is more than a 24 hour lapse in appropriations for any Federal agency or department as a result of a failure to enact a regular appropriations bill or continuing resolution OR if the Federal Government is unable to make payments or meet obligations because the debt limit….has been reached.”