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Boxer: Cut Congress’s Pay If Shutdown

From The Hill:

Bill would prohibit lawmakers, president from being paid if government shuts down

By Vicki Needham – 02/17/11

Two Democratic Senators on Thursday introduced a bill that would prohibit members of Congress and the president from being paid during a government shutdown or when the federal government can’t pay its bills because the debt limit has been reached.

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, and Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.), chairman of the Joint Economic Committee, announced legislation Thursday morning that would stop payments to Congress and the president while ensuring Social Security benefits continue, military troops are paid and other government services remain open for business.

"If the government is forced to shut down, members of Congress and the president should be treated the same way as all other federal employees," Boxer said. "We should not be paid. And to take it one step further, we should not be paid retroactively once the government reopens."

Boxer said she didn’t know how much the bill would save and that amount would depend on the length of a shutdown.

Lawmakers and the president are paid under a mandatory spending law rather than through the appropriations process, meaning they still get paid when the government shuts down.

"So as far as we can tell, we’re the only category of federal employees that have this protection," Boxer told reporters.

We have to say that for once in our lives we agree with Ms. SENATOR Boxer whole-heartedly. In fact, we don’t think she has gone nearly far enough. We would recommend that the nation should get a tax free holiday for every day the government is shut down. After all, why should we pay for government that is shut down?

Also, while we are talking about Congressional salaries, we would recommend that our Representatives put some skin in the game, and they and the executive and judicial branches should all take a 10% pay cut. After all, we are great believers in ‘sharing the sacrifices.’

During the government shutdown in 1995, Boxer pushed similar legislation through the Senate but "it mysteriously was dropped" from a spending bill for the District of Columbia during conference committee.

This time around, Boxer said she intends to ask Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to bring the bill to the floor as a stand-alone measure "so that it goes over to the House without anything around it."

"We are going to ask Sen. Reid to hotline this bill, to get it done," she said. "We might not have to even bring it up. We just want to get it through. And then we’re going to put the spotlight on the House to take it up and pass it."

It is truly telling about the intellect of Ms. SENATOR Boxer that she thinks this is somehow a disincentive. All it does it make a government shutdown sound better and better.

The House and Senate are expected to leave town Thursday for the weeklong Presidents Day recess, leaving them with about four days during the week of Feb. 28 to pass a bill that President Obama can sign, even if it’s temporary

Heaven knows their "weeklong" holiday is far more important than passing a budget another continuing resolution, and keeping the government from shutting down and starving widows and orphans.

By the way, how much time do you, gentle reader, get off for ‘Presidents Day’?

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, February 18th, 2011. Comments are currently closed.

8 Responses to “Boxer: Cut Congress’s Pay If Shutdown”

  1. Right of the People says:

    It would be a wonderful thing if really implemented although a doubt if very many of our elected officials would feel pinched except for the first termers who haven’t gotten their graft arranged yet.

    The only problem if they do shut the government down again is the O’ster will probably use his executive powers to shove another big crap sandwich or two down our collective throats.

  2. JohnMG says:

    …..”Boxer said she didn’t know how much the bill would save and that amount would depend on the length of a shutdown….”

    She’s going about this all bass-ackwards. I say keep paying them their salaries but don’t let them anywhere near D.C. for their entire terms. It’d be money well spent and probably save trillions.

    In fact, how about we pay them a one-time bonus if they promise never to return?

  3. untrainable says:

    Did someone spatter me with a rock while I wasn’t looking? I feel a little dizzy. Barbara Boxer wants to NOT be paid? I’ve been suggesting this for years! Of course I wasn’t suggesting it because of any shutdown, I don’t think Barbara Boxer should be paid for anything. But that’s just me.

    • proreason says:

      She wouldn’t do it if it wasn’t a con.

      The motive just hasn’t become clear yet.

      One suspicion is that there might be a number of Republic congressmen who aren’t wealthy (yet), as Boxer is from her years of raking in the bribes. All Senators are long past gazillionare status, since there are only 100 of them to coopt. You can bet someone has done the math (not Babs, of course. she would have to be able to count).

    • Petronius says:

      pro : “She wouldn’t do it if it wasn’t a con.”

      You are right again, pro. Of course it is a con. It is a big fat stunt. The 27th Amendment to the Constitution (ratified 1992) expressly provides that “No law, varying the compensation for the services of Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of representatives shall have intervened.”

      As a result of the 27th Amendment, it is impossible to withhold pay from current members of Congress. Certainly Senator Barbara “don’t-call-me-ma’am” Boxer must be aware of this provision of the Constitution. That explains why her 1995 effort “mysteriously was dropped” from a pending spending bill. No doubt that is also the reason why members of Congress are paid under the mandatory spending law rather than through the normal appropriations process.

    • cigarskunk says:

      It ***IS*** a con – she’s not worried about the money because she’ll get her back pay after its over (plus its not like she even needs it) – the idea is to starve out the freshmen Republicans.

      Remember, a lot of those Tea Party guys are normal folks like you and me with mortgages and car loans to pay – take away their salaries for a few weeks or months (especially after they most likely sunk most of their personal funds into their campaigns and probably took out loans to boot) and they’ll be screwed.

      She’s doing this to quite literally starve these freshmen into jumping sides and voting with the Democrats just to keep a roof over their heads.

  4. Liberals Demise says:

    I’m with pro on this. Have them sit at home and we send them their check there on the privisimo that they never return to the HILL……ever!
    None are worth spit including the “NEW” Congress.

  5. canary says:

    Barbara Boxer was/is behind the fraudulent global warming fear mongering scandal that has cost Americans going on trillions. Can’t be trusted.

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