Should Congressional Salaries Be Furloughed?

Even as the Government Shutdown continues into its third week, all 535 Members of Congress still receive their salaries due to provisions in the Constitution - as well as permanent appropriations for congressional pay.

Thursday, on the Opening Day of the 116th Congress, Representative Marcy Kaptur (D, OH-9) was asked on The Scott Sands Show if she would be willing to give up her salary during the Government Shutdown.  Kaptur was also asked if 18 terms in Congress is too much.


Nikki Haley, former U.S. ambassador to the U.N., tweeted Thursday that “no member [of Congress] should get paid while the government is shut down.”

Newly-elected Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez also called congressional salaries during the shutdown “completely unacceptable” and said that “next time we have a gov shutdown, Congressional salaries should be furloughed as well.”


Article I, Section 6 of the US Constitution says, “The Senators and Representatives shall receive a compensation for their services, to be ascertained by law, and paid out of the treasury of the United States.”  According to the Congressional Research Service, “Due to their constitutional responsibilities and a permanent appropriation for congressional pay, Members of Congress are not subject to furlough.  Member salaries have been provided by a permanent, mandatory appropriation outside of the normal appropriations process since 1981 (2 U.S.C. §4501).

Several senators have come out in recent days and expressed that they would forego pay during the shutdown.

Scott Sands

Scott Sands

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