Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Senate Bill Blocks Pay For Lawmakers and President During Govt Shutdown

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) introduced S.388  on 2/17/2011-- To prohibit Members of Congress and the President from receiving pay during Government shutdowns.  It was referred to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs the same day.

Here is the text of the bill:

To prohibit Members of Congress and the President from receiving pay during Government shutdowns.

      Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


      (a) In General- Members of Congress and the President shall not receive basic pay for any period in which--

            (1) there is more than a 24-hour lapse in appropriations for any Federal agency or department as a result of a failure to enact a regular appropriations bill or continuing resolution; or
            (2) the Federal Government is unable to make payments or meet obligations because the public debt limit under section 3101 of title 31, United States Code, has been reached.

      (b) Retroactive Pay Prohibited- No pay forfeited in accordance with subsection (a) may be paid retroactively.

is Barbara Boxer in ABC News:

“It’s absolutely the right thing to do,” she said. “Why should a small class of people be treated differently than anyone else especially since they’re the ones responsible for a government shutdown or not raising the debt ceiling?”

On March 1, 2011; 6:27 PM EST, AP reported that the Senate has unanimously passed this legislation. No similar action in the house as far as I'm aware. Ball in House's court right now, which will probably do a quickie one, or it might look bad. Then it'll go to the White House. Can't imagine a scenario where the WH vetoes this. But it's not done until its done.
Note that in the furloughs of FY1996, the feds eventually got retroactive pay. This one made sure lawmakers and the president won't even get retro pay if there is a shutdown. 

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