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Public Statements

Letter to John Boehner,Speaker of the House - Congressional Pay

Dear Speaker Boehner:

Nearly one month has passed since Democrats and Republicans in the Senate came together and unanimously passed S. 388, legislation to prohibit Members of Congress and the President from receiving any pay during a government shutdown.

Despite the Senate's bipartisan effort, and requests from members for immediate action, you have taken no steps to hold a vote on this important legislation.

As you know, in the event of a government shutdown, Members of Congress and the President would be treated differently from millions of other Federal employees. While Federal employees would not get paid, Members of Congress and the President would still receive a paycheck because we are paid through mandatory spending, rather than through annual appropriations.

Recently, a number of House Republicans have publicly stated that a government shutdown is unavoidable, and have gone so far as to significantly downplay the negative impact it would have on our economy.

Since members of your caucus are openly predicting a government shutdown, the time to pass this bill is now. Members who want to shutdown the government should not continue to receive a paycheck while the rest of the nation suffers the consequences. Members of Congress and the President should be treated no differently than every other federal employee; we too should have to face the consequences of our actions.

While appearing on the CNN program "Crossfire" in 1995, you offered your support for a bill that is identical to S.388, so it is unclear why you have not scheduled a vote. The closer we get to the expiration of the Continuing Resolution without passage of this legislation, the more it becomes apparent that your primary interest is in protecting the paychecks of your colleagues.

It is essential that we work together to avoid a government shutdown, but if we cannot do our jobs and keep the government functioning, we should not get paid.

We again request that the House immediately take up and pass this legislation in the same bipartisan spirit demonstrated by the Senate. We ask for your immediate response.

Barbara Boxer
United States Senator

Robert P. Casey, Jr.
United States Senator

Mark Begich
United States Senator

Michael F. Bennet
United States Senator

Richard Blumenthal
United States Senator

Daniel K. Inouye
United States Senator

Joe Manchin, III
United States Senator

Claire McCaskill
United States Senator

Robert Menendez
United States Senator

Jeff Merkley
United States Senator

Barbara A. Mikulski
United States Senator

Jeanne Shaheen
United States Senator

Debbie Stabenow
United States Senator

Jon Tester
United States Senator

Sheldon Whitehouse
United States Senator

Ron Wyden
United States Senator


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