Via Press Herald
Following the five-week closure of much of the federal government, U.S. Rep. Jared Golden has introduced a bipartisan measure that calls for withholding the pay of members of Congress, the president and vice president during a government shutdown.
The Solidarity in Salary Act of 2019 “will help prevent the American people from being political pawns for party leaders and help return sanity to the task of funding the government,” the 2nd District Maine Democrat said in a prepared statement Tuesday.
Golden is introducing the bill along with Reps. Dan Crenshaw, a Texas Republican, and Max Rose, a New York Democrat. All three are newcomers to the U.S. House.
Golden said that “federal workers don’t get paid during a government shutdown. Neither should politicians.”
“Federal employees should never have to carry the burden caused by a dysfunctional government; that’s why I’m proud to cosponsor this legislation,” Crenshaw said.
“Only in a town as broken as Washington do you still get paid when you don’t do your job,” said Rose. “That’s wrong, and it’s past time to make it right.”
“When a Congressional impasse causes federal employees to go unpaid, members of Congress should have to withhold their pay,” Crenshaw said. “We should have to feel the very real effects of a shutdown, just as our fellow federal employees are forced to do.”
“That’s just common sense,” Golden said.
The proposal would put the daily pay of the president, vice president, and members of Congress in escrow for each day a government shutdown is in effect. Once the government is reopened, the withheld pay would be released.
A dozen Republicans signed on to a Senate bill last month with the same impact. Other members of the Congress have endorsed the idea.
But before the bill becomes law, it would need the backing of the House, Senate and president, a process that rarely comes quickly and is easily derailed.
There is a chance of another federal government shutdown in mid-February if President Trump and the Congress fail to work out budget terms they can live with.