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April 1, 2011

04/04/11 Friday, Congressman Joe Donnelly announced his support for The Government Shutdown Fairness Act, H.R. 819, which would prohibit Members of Congress and the President from receiving their pay in the event of a government shutdown. This bill is similar to S. 388, which passed the Senate unanimously on March 1, 2011.  Also this week, Donnelly joined 26 colleagues on a letter to Speaker John Boehner requesting that he immediately schedule an up-or-down vote on S.388, which if passed by the House, would be cleared for the president’s signature.  To read a copy of this letter, click here.

“If the House and Senate are unable to come to a compromise on funding the government through the remainder of the fiscal year, resulting in a government shutdown, Members of Congress and the President should not receive their pay,” said Donnelly.  “I am opposed to shutting down the government because the people of this country expect us to work hard, talk to each other, and get things done.  Yet if Congress and the President shut down the government because of a game of chicken, we need to ensure that there is no question that we will not be paid.  The Speaker should schedule a straight up-or-down vote on this issue as soon as possible.  The Senate has done its part, now it’s our turn.” 

Under current policy, during a government shutdown, no federal employee funded by an annual appropriations bill would receive their pay.  Unlike federal employees, Members of Congress and the President would receive their pay during a shutdown.  Donnelly co-sponsored The Government Shutdown Fairness Act because he believes Members of Congress and the President should be treated the same as federal employees.