CBS19: Bill says withhold congressional paychecks during government shutdown or default


Lawmakers have “pressed pause” on the debt ceiling talks in Washington, D.C., saying they were not being productive.

This pushes the United States closure to a potential default, and at least two members of the House of Representatives say they and their colleagues should not be paid until a deal is reached.

Representatives Abigail Spanberger (D-VA-7th) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA-1st) introduced a bill on Thursday that would block members of Congress from getting paid during a default or government shutdown.

According to a release, the No Pay for Congress During Default or Shutdown Act would block the pay of members of Congress if the public debt limit is reached or a federal government shutdown occurs.

“An economic default would be catastrophic for the Virginia communities I represent, and the Virginians I serve are well aware of the detrimental impacts of government shutdowns. If Congress can’t fulfill basic obligations tied to the strength and security of our country, lawmakers should not be rewarded with our salaries until we do our jobs,” said Spanberger. “Working Americans get it. If you don’t do your job, you don’t get paid. I want to thank my colleague Congressman Fitzpatrick for his partnership on this commonsense legislation, a bipartisan bill that would not only incentivize cooperation during moments of looming default, but also pressure elected officials to keep the doors of our government open, the livelihoods of our federal employees protected, and the American people secure.”

Specifically, the bill requires congressional payroll administrators to withhold the paychecks of lawmakers.

This would occur on any day the public debt limit is reached or there is a lapse in federal government funding.

Those payments would then be released at the end of the congressional session.

Spanberger called on the payroll administrators just last week to prepare to block the paychecks until the debt ceiling has been lifted.

The U.S. could go into default on its debt as soon as June 1.

To read the full text of the Spanberger/Fitzpatrick bill, click here.

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