Reporting Joe Mathieu
BOSTON (CBS) – We’ve heard the idea floated by pundits and columnists – suspend lawmakers’ paychecks as long as the government is shutdown.
And why not?
Think about it. Rank and file members of Congress make $174,000 a year and they are unable to complete the core function of their jobs – to keep the government running.
So a Democratic congressman from Minnesota has formally introduced legislation that would block all pay to members of Congress until the shutdown is resolved. And as we discussed Wednesday, that could be a while.
Rep. Rick Nolan’s bill is called the “No Government – No Pay Act” and while it probably has no chance of passing, it may be one of the best ideas to come from Capitol Hill this year.
After all, several members of Congress have already pledged to refuse their pay during the shutdown. Some said they would give their pay to charity.
And that may be the only real way to handle this. The No Government – No Pay Act might sound like a great idea to a lot of people, but it may actually be impossible.
That’s because the 27th amendment says you can’t change congressional compensation until there’s an election in the U.S. House of Representatives.
So maybe lawmakers should instead donate their paychecks to the many federal workers and government contractors who are not getting paid this week.
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