Thursday, March 5, 2015

Hey, Congress, no pay for you!

While the law says members of Congress get paid no matter what, the law should be changed for shutdowns.

Hey, Congress, no pay for you!

One thing the federal shutdown ought to produce is a new law saying members of Conrgress don't get paid if they don't do their job and the government closes, even partially, as a result.

As it now stands, the President and Congress continue to draw their hefty public salaries no matter what.

Not good.

What might be good is that some members are saying they won't take or will donate that portion of their $174,000 salaries that they would have gotten during the shutdown.

The Washington Post is tracking the numbers. As of Thursday morning, there were 108 -- or 20% of the 535 House and Senate total.

Among the no-pay people: Republican House Speaker John Boehner and Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

Rightly so.

And in Pennsylvania, the most recent number is 4 -- or 20% of the state's DC delegation.

(Must be some sort of agreement on percentage, eh?)

Pennsylvania members on the no-pay list are:

-- GOP Sen. Pat ("I will refuse my paycheck") Toomey.

-- freshman GOP Rep. Mike Kelly from northwestern PA.

-- freshman GOP Rep. Keith Rothfus from western PA.

-- Democratic gubernatorial candidate Allyson Schwartz from Philly.

Whatever political motives (or stunt) any of these folks might have, they deserve at least some credit for some awareness that they should share in the pain they all cause.

But no member of Congress should take pay during this shameful display of abdicated leadership.

Feel free to contact your elected "leaders" -- there are phone numbers, fax numbers and email addresses in the DC delegation list highlighted above -- and tell them something like, Hey! NO PAY FOR YOU!

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
About this blog
John Baer has been covering politics and government for the Daily News since 1987. The National Journal in 2002 called Baer one of the country's top 10 political journalists outside Washington, saying Baer has, "the ability to take the skin off a politician without making it hurt too much." E-mail John at baerj@phillynews.com.

John is the author of the book "On The Front Lines of Pennsylvania Politics: Twenty-Five Years of Keystone Reporting" (The History Press, 2012). Reach John at baerj@phillynews.com.

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
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