Lawmakers still get a check, even in shutdown mode - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Lawmakers still get a check, even in shutdown mode

Posted: Updated:
  • Government ShutdownMore>>

  • Key support for budget deal; deficits would rise

    Key support for budget deal; deficits would rise

    Wednesday, December 11 2013 6:48 PM EST2013-12-11 23:48:33 GMT
    A newly minted budget deal to avert future government shutdowns gained important ground Wednesday among House Republicans who are more accustomed to brinkmanship than compromise, even though it would nudge federal deficits higher three years in a row.
    A newly minted budget deal to avert future government shutdowns gained important ground Wednesday among House Republicans who are more accustomed to brinkmanship than compromise, even though it would nudge federal deficits higher three years in a row.
  • Shutdown lawnmower man honored with new chainsaw

    Shutdown lawnmower man honored with new chainsaw

    Wednesday, November 13 2013 1:44 PM EST2013-11-13 18:44:34 GMT
    The man who mowed the lawn around the Lincoln Memorial during the shutdown is getting honored Wednesday. Chris Cox was out at the Lincoln Memorial with a lawnmower and chain saw in early October.
    The man who mowed the lawn around the Lincoln Memorial during the shutdown is getting honored Wednesday. Chris Cox was out at the Lincoln Memorial with a lawnmower and chain saw in early October.
  • For Cuccinelli, few good options on shutdown

    For Cuccinelli, few good options on shutdown

    Wednesday, October 23 2013 4:50 PM EDT2013-10-23 20:50:09 GMT
    The 16-day partial government shutdown is all but certain to figure prominently in Thursday's final sparring match between candidates in the governor's race. And that could be a problem for Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli.
    The 16-day partial government shutdown is all but certain to figure prominently in Thursday's final sparring match between candidates in the governor's race. And that could be a problem for Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli.
WASHINGTON -

There's at least one constant in a government shutdown: The 532 members of Congress continue to be paid — at a cost of $10,583.85 per hour to taxpayers.

Lawmakers get their pay even as hundreds of congressional staffers are sent home, packs of tourists are turned away at the Capitol, and constituent services in many offices grind to a halt. Most entrances to House and Senate office buildings and underground parking garages are closed.

House members and senators can't withhold their own pay even if they want to. Under the Constitution's 27th Amendment, lawmakers can only change the pay of those in a future Congress, not the one in which they serve. Senators and House members are paid $174,000 a year; a handful of leaders make up to $20,000 more.

Lawmakers aren't oblivious to how it looks. Republican Sen. Ted Cruz and others are pledging to donate their salaries to charity during the shutdown.

While lawmakers' paychecks will continue, the same isn't true for their aides and some support staff at the Capitol. Like some 800,000 other federal employees judged to be nonessential and therefore furloughed, thousands of workers on Capitol Hill were sent home Tuesday. Those who weren't will still see their paychecks delayed.

Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., told all but four of the 30 staffers in his Washington office they were not needed during the shutdown. People quit answering his office phones at noon, replaced by a recorded message normally used for greeting after-hours callers. "They'll get to hear my message," Chambliss quipped.

Assistant Senate Democratic leader Dick Durbin sent about 80 percent of his Washington staff home and closed all four of his offices in Illinois. Other lawmakers determined a bigger share of their aides was too important to be furloughed.

Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., said he'd told just four staffers — all part-timers — to go home. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., sent about a third of his staff home, though his office did not say how many aides that meant overall. The offices of House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid didn't immediately respond to queries about how many staffers were furloughed and how many were still at work.

The Capitol was eerily quiet for a weekday when Congress is in session. Doors to the House and Senate barber shops were locked as were most of the restaurants and snack facilities in the Capitol and neighboring congressional office buildings. All the gift shops were closed.

The only tourists in the Rotunda, the old House and Senate chambers and other locations for gawking were tiny groups escorted by lawmakers themselves. The red-jacket escorts who normally direct thousands of tourists through the Capitol every day were judged to be nonessential, as were most of the security aides who check them through metal detectors.

As long as the House and Senate remain in session, the visitors galleries for watching lawmakers in action are open, too. Unlike when the government isn't shut down, there weren't any lines of people waiting to get in Tuesday.

____

By HENRY C. JACKSON, Associated Press

Associated Press writers Seth Borenstein, Alan Fram and Laurie Kellman contributed to this report.

  • Viral StoriesMore>>

  • Spacewalking astronauts release baby satellite

    Spacewalking astronauts release baby satellite

    Monday, August 18 2014 12:40 PM EDT2014-08-18 16:40:07 GMT
    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) -- Spacewalking astronauts launched a tiny Peruvian research satellite Monday, setting it loose on a mission to observe Earth. Russian Oleg Artemiev cast the 4-inch box off with his gloved right hand as the International Space Station sailed 260 miles above the cloud-flecked planet. The nanosatellite gently tumbled as it cleared the vicinity of the orbiting complex, precisely as planned. "One, two, three," someone called out in Russian as Artemiev let go of the sate...
    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) -- Spacewalking astronauts launched a tiny Peruvian research satellite Monday, setting it loose on a mission to observe Earth. Russian Oleg Artemiev cast the 4-inch box off with his gloved right hand as the International Space Station sailed 260 miles above the cloud-flecked planet. The nanosatellite gently tumbled as it cleared the vicinity of the orbiting complex, precisely as planned. "One, two, three," someone called out in Russian as Artemiev let go of the sate...
  • New marijuana drug 'Wax' looks and feels like lip balm

    New marijuana drug 'Wax' looks and feels like lip balm

    Monday, August 18 2014 12:39 PM EDT2014-08-18 16:39:19 GMT
    It goes by the name Wax, Butter and Honeycomb on the streets, and it can pack a kick equal to 15 to 20 joints of marijuana. The new drug looks and feels like lip balm. It's made from the oils of marijuana plants and has a high level of THC - the chemical that produces a high.
    It goes by the name Wax, Butter and Honeycomb on the streets, and it can pack a kick equal to 15 to 20 joints of marijuana. The new drug looks and feels like lip balm. It's made from the oils of marijuana plants and has a high level of THC - the chemical that produces a high.
  • Pilot's artificial arm detached while landing

    Pilot's artificial arm detached while landing

    Thursday, August 14 2014 10:21 AM EDT2014-08-14 14:21:31 GMT
    LONDON (AP) -- A British air accident report has recounted how a pilot lost control of a passenger plane after his artificial arm became detached during landing. The report says the incident took place as the Flybe flight from Birmingham, carrying 47 passengers, was approaching Belfast City Airport in gusty conditions in February. The 46-year-old pilot had shortly before checked that his prosthetic lower left arm was securely attached to the yoke clamp, but as he performed a maneuver just be...
    LONDON (AP) -- A British air accident report has recounted how a pilot lost control of a passenger plane after his artificial arm became detached during landing. The report says the incident took place as the Flybe flight from Birmingham, carrying 47 passengers, was approaching Belfast City Airport in gusty conditions in February. The 46-year-old pilot had shortly before checked that his prosthetic lower left arm was securely attached to the yoke clamp, but as he performed a maneuver just be...

Powered by WorldNow
Untitled

WTTG FOX 5 & myfoxdc
5151 Wisconsin Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20016
Main Number: (202) 244-5151
Newsroom: (202) 895-3000
fox5tips@wttg.com

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices