A group of bipartisan lawmakers introduced a bill on Tuesday to withhold pay from the president, vice president and members of Congress during future government shutdowns, saying it will “help prevent the American people from being political pawns.”
Rep. Jared Golden (D-Maine) joined Reps. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) and Max Rose (D-N.Y.) in introducing the measure, known as the Solidarity in Salary Act of 2019.
The lawmakers said the bill aims to “prevent and limit the duration of future shutdowns and ensure that lawmakers feel the harm they cause federal employees when they fail to fund the government.”
“Federal workers don’t get paid during a government shutdown. Neither should politicians,” Golden said in a statement. “This legislation will help prevent the American people from being political pawns for party leaders and help return sanity to the task of funding the government.”
Under the legislation, daily pay for the president, vice president and lawmakers would be in escrow during a shutdown. The withheld pay would then be released after the government reopens.
Crenshaw said that “federal employees should never have to carry the burden caused by a dysfunctional government.”
“We should have to feel the very real effects of a shutdown, just as our fellow federal employees are forced to do,” he added.
“Only in a town as broken as Washington do you still get paid when you don’t do your job,” Rose said. “That’s wrong, and it’s past time to make it right.”