Senator Boxer: No Pay for Congress if Government Shuts Down
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Yesterday I introduced the Government Shutdown and Default Prevention Act, legislation that would prevent Members of Congress and the President of the United States from being paid during a default or shutdown of the federal government. To read more, please click here.
A default on our nation’s debt or a deliberate shutdown of our government would be a disaster for our economy and hurt millions of Americans. This legislation would send a simple message to members of Congress – if you take these actions that will severely harm the American people, you don’t deserve and won’t receive a paycheck.
U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer
Your Voice Counts: Californians Respond to This Message +
(NEW) Thank you so much for introducing this legislation. Congress needs a reality check. If any of their constituents behaved the way they often do, we would not get paid either. Thanks for taking a step to level the playing field, although it is still pretty far off kilter, but at least it is a step in the right direction.
(NEW) The best email I got all day was one from you just a few minutes ago. Working in the defense industry in San Diego, I see it as a threat to our national security to face sequestration in March. Congress needs to take this potential shutdown seriously, and not play political games that endanger our country's welfare. The day-to-day operation of the country is the reason why we elect our officials, more so than pushing ideologies, reacting to recently upsetting news, and proposing new legislation. I believe that was the "referendum" that people voted in the last election. If it takes some additional legislation to remind Congress that it is their responsibility to keep the country running, regardless of whether it is under the perception of 'fiscal responsibility' or 'irrationally exuberant' spending, then I am all for it.
Noah, San Diego
(NEW) Respectfully, I would like to say that I don't like the idea of not paying the president and congress for default or shutdown of the government. That punishes a lot of congressmen and women, and the president, who are not the obstructionists. And I may be naive, but I hope that there are still some in Congress who are not rich and therefore need their salary. So while this bill is a sledgehammer, I think it is hitting too many of the wrong nails. My husband doesn't like the bill because he says it interferes with the legislative process, weird though it has become. We are both liberals, and happy to be so. Thank you.
(NEW) I like your proposed legistation where legislators wouldn't get paid during a government shutdown; however, I doubt something like that would EVER pass. I'd like to see the democrats work with the republicans to cut back on spending. We can't continue just increasing the budget.
Diana, Chino Hills
(NEW) Our family is SO tired of the Republicans in Congress working together to do nothing but obstruct the work of the Congress. If they do not wish to extend the debt ceiling, then I think it is entirely appropriate for them to forfeit their pay until an appropriate solution is reached. Perhaps, if Sen. Boxer's measure if enacted, the Congress will begin to seen the urgency of coming to a solution about the debt ceiling.
Haage, Lori, Montclair
(NEW) It is about time that the House & Senate felt the same frustrations as the citizens of this country at their inability to work together so that a budget could be passed in a timely manner. I have been hopeful of the measures Pres. Obama has tried to get passed over the last 4 years, to make this a more equitable country, but extremely angry at the petty, self-absorbed, and greedy motivations that have prevented passage of many of these measures. With respect to the delay in approving a budget, I'm hoping that if it becomes necessary to hold up their pay, that this lack of a paycheck will spur them on. I am 67 years old, and I have never seen such poor performances by these government bodies, especially the House of Representatives. Enough!!
Mary, Santa Clara
(NEW) I appreciate your concern for the people with Government Shutdown Bill. I hope you define Congress as both the Senate and the House. I would say if you have a legitimate concern for the American People, you would also include the same consequence when the Senate or the House do not submit an annual budget as required by the Constitution. The lack of performance by the Senate to do this in almost 4 years is for more damaging to the American people than anything else our politicans babble about on a daily basis. Unlimited spending and unlimited entitlements to both corporate and individuals is taking us to certain economic ruin. California is the template for the federal program end result. I hope your sincerity will be proven by addressing a fair and balanced penalty for the lack of job performance for the Senate, House, and the President. I encourage you to post these comments on your website.
Thank you so much for putting your own paycheck at risk for a sensible solution to government shutdowns. It is long overdue!
Denise, Ladera Ranch
Thank you for the update and I agree... Congress needs to get the work done that they are paid for.
I believe you are on to something here, we all need to be responsible for our current situation. I do think we need to hold our elected officials accountable.
Lawrence, Gold River
Thank you for making the kids pay attention to the trouble they will cause and the consequences of their inaction. You always have my support.
Thank you for the introduction of this legislation and I appreciate the symbolic gesture that it represents. My criticism of it is that it is entirely symbolic. Since the majority of Senators and Representatives are millionaires, the loss of their Senate or House salaries will have little or no impact on their financial well-being. Their loss of salaries will not have the same impact on their lives as the impact of a government shut-down or default on the Nation's debt will have on the vast majority of the middle-class and poor - The loss of one's Social Security check, the loss of Medicare/Medicaid healthcare, the financial impact on the stock market and one's retirement savings, the loss of a job, the loss of one's house…. With the utmost respect, your constituent,
Ted, Grass Valley
This is a good start; next I would like to see the legislators have the same social security and healthcare programs that the public has. There is an incredible disparity that needs to be addressed but the beneficiaries of these elite programs rarely oppose them. Keep up the good work,
I heartily applaud your and Senator Casey's efforts and tenacity in re-introducing this bill. The inaction on this particular responsibility of our elected officials is shameful and does in fact mirror a worker who is refusing to do his/her job.
This bill is long overdue. I support it fully. If I don't do my job correctly, I suffer the consequences.
Thank you Senator Boxer and Senator Casey, for taking a stand and looking out for the American people. Shutting down the government should never be used as a leverage tool for partisan politics and manipulation; and certainly should not be rewarded by payment for failing to do their jobs!
I would like to see even stronger measures taken so that our country's representatives can "feel our pain." For example, if health care was only given to Congress while they served, and once out of office they had to go through COBRA, like the rest of us when we loose a job. Or perhaps, if their pension plan was limited to 401Ks and Social Security like so many of the rest of us. I have a feeling they would act a lot more efficiently toward solving the problems with Medicare and Social Security, if that were the case. If they really want to fix Social Security, all they have to do is raise the salary cap. But, I do appreciate all you do for your constituents, so thank you for introducing this very reasonable legislation.
I believe it should go even further to include no approved annual budget, no pay. Since passing our countries annual budget is one of the most important asks, if they fail why should they get paid for failure. This can and should also apply for California's budget process. Respectfully submitted,
Accountability is something elected officials have never had to face. What time is better then now. I support your and Senator Casey's efforts Keep up the good work.
Adele, La Jolla
The Bill you propose is well intentioned, but most of Congress is made up of very wealthy people. Going without a paycheck would only be a slight inconvenience, and they would be receiving the monies at a later date; so no real consequences for them.
Diane, San Diego
Senator, I this is a wonderful idea. I got your back!!
I couldn't believe what we Americans have been wishing since I can't remember when is really going to be presented in Congress. I checked my email to make sure it wasn't "spam" and pinched myself to make sure I wasn't dreaming. Please hit those who clog the wheels of progress in the pocket book where they are used to hitting us.
Diane, South San Francisco
And we both know that this proposed bill will never see the Senate floor for a final vote.
I want to thank you for your current initiative to break the legislative stalemate and get this year's congress session moving. Now that you are identifying yourself as a States-person with moxy, I suggest you propose a truly meaningful bill. Revert your retirement plan to Social Security. Revert your Health plan to the Health plan legislation you recently passed. Not the "opt-out" provision, the real plan. In essence the business world calls this "eating your own dog food". I look forward to the bold new direction you can take congress in this term.
Dave, San Jose