SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — Utah Representative John Curtis (R-District 3) reintroduced a bill that would prevent members of the United States Congress from receiving a paycheck during a government shut down.
The bill, titled the “No Work, No Pay Act,” would prevent members from each House of Congress from getting paid for each day the government is shut down. Members of Congress would resume getting paid once funding to federal agencies and departments is resumed and a deal on appropriations is reached.
Rep. Curtis said his bill, which he has introduced three times in the past, is a common-sense measure during a government shutdown.
“It seems so obvious, I know, but we need legislation to make it happen,” said Curtis. “It also makes sure that there is no back pay for Congress so that we through the shutdown and then go back and pay ourselves back.”
According to the National Taxpayers Union Foundation, rank-and-file legislators in the U.S. Congress earn an annual salary of $174,000. Meanwhile, party leaders in both the House and Senate earn $193,400 annually. The Speaker of the House takes home $223,500.
The last government shutdown happened in 2019 and lasted for 35 days, the longest in U.S. history. During that time about 340,000 federal employees were furloughed while about another 460,000 worked without pay. Meanwhile, members of Congress in both the House and the Senate continued to receive paychecks while attempting to negotiate a funding bill.
The United States government is inching closer to what appears to be another imminent shut down, the 22nd shutdown within the last five decades. The House of Representatives has stalled on how to move forward with government funding amid ongoing disputes within the Republican majority. The current government funding appropriations expire on Oct. 1, which is when the shut down would begin.
The government may be funded through to Nov. 17, however, after the Senate voted to continue government funding on Tuesday. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said the bill is a temporary solution that gives negotiators more time to hash out a longer-term deal to fund the government.
In the meantime, Rep. Curtis is asking for his colleagues support on the No Work, No Pay Act. Curtis said he will be releasing a series of short videos through his social media challenges describing what is happening in the nation’s capital, the procedures. He said his bill seems “pretty obvious,” and he is going to work to push it forward.