For the 535 members of Congress, however, the paychecks will keep coming no matter how long the shutdown lasts. The Constitution's 27th Amendment stipulates that the salaries of the House and Senate cannot change until a congressional election has come and gone.
The fact that the people who have forced the shutdown are still being paid has rankled plenty of Americans. Some members of Congress, including Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, the Tea Party darling from Texas, has pledged to donate his salary to charity during the shutdown.
Rep. Peter King, R-Seaford, however told Patch that's just "a stunt" by "millionaire Senators."
King, one of just five House Republicans to vote against the final spending measure Monday night that pushed the government to shut down, said he deserves to be paid.
"If I was the one running around saying the government should shut down, that's one thing," he said. "I'm the one that is trying to keep it open. So if anyone should get his paycheck, it's me."
We asked Patch readers to chime in on members of Congress being paid during the shut down. Here's what some of them said on Patch's Suffolk County Facebook pages (share your own thoughts in the comments section below):
- If they weren't going to get paid, this would not happen. They work for us and they have forgotten that.
- Their pay should be first to go. What a difference the outcome would be.
- If we don't do our jobs we get fired---enough said!
- I didn't elect any of them. If their salaries were in jeopardy they would of got the job done.
- Glad it's shut down, it's an embarrassment that they get paid though....
- They should be fired...the same way anyone else would be for not showing up to work! It's unacceptable behavior...yet we accept it!
- Congressmen should be treated like everybody else. Take away their pay!!! I feel so sad for this country. My cousin works for IRS and she's home with no pay. Disgusting!!!!
- Well, of course the Congressmen still get paid. Why should they suffer? Disgusting.