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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Says Congressional Salaries Should Be Furloughed During a Shutdown
Written by <a href="index.php?option=com_comprofiler&task=userProfile&user=49820"><span class="small">Peter Wade, Rolling Stone</span></a>   
Thursday, 27 December 2018 09:26

Wade writes: "As thousands of government employees fret over whether they will receive their January paychecks, one category of government workers will continue to be paid regardless of a shutdown: senators and members of Congress. But Democratic Representative-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is calling for that to change."

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. (photo: Getty)
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. (photo: Getty)


Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Says Congressional Salaries Should Be Furloughed During a Shutdown

By Peter Wade, Rolling Stone

27 December 18


“Have some integrity,” the congresswoman-elect tweeted

s thousands of government employees fret over whether they will receive their January paychecks, one category of government workers will continue to be paid regardless of a shutdown: senators and members of Congress. But Democratic Representative-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is calling for that to change.

In a tweet on Saturday, Ocasio-Cortez wrote, “Next time we have a [government] shutdown, Congressional salaries should be furloughed as well. It’s completely unacceptable that members of Congress can force a government shutdown on partisan lines & then have Congressional salaries exempt from that decision. Have some integrity.”

A quarter of the federal government is currently shut down because Republicans and Democrats could not agree on funding of the president’s border wall, and the shutdown could continue into 2019 when Democrats take over in the new Congressional session, according to incoming acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney.

Although federal workers will all receive a December paycheck, Mulvaney said, their January paycheck could be at risk. But, as Ocasio-Cortez pointed out, representatives and senators will still receive their $174,000 a year salary because Congress wrote them into law. Usually, after a shutdown ends, however, Congress will ensure that federal employees receive any back pay missed due to the government’s closure.

Ocasio-Cortez has made a name for herself as a defender of the working class, but she is not alone in pointing out the hypocrisy of elected officials receiving pay while others do not. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) announced she will donate her salary to a charity in Nevada for every day of the shutdown.

New York Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik also tweeted that she requested her pay be withheld for the duration of the shutdown.

This is not the first time lawmakers have called for Congressional salaries to be furloughed along with federal employees’. In 2017, Rep. Rick Nolan (D-Minn.) introduced the “No Government – No Pay” Act to prohibit lawmakers’ pay during a shutdown.

Ocasio-Cortez added that she hoped losing shutdown pay “would also cause members who actually depend on their salary to think twice about leadership and take a shutdown vote more seriously.” Because while many wealthy members of Congress can afford to miss a paycheck or two, many Americans, including federal workers, cannot.

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+4 # RLF 2018-12-27 10:48
This wouldn't have much effect because Ocasio-Cortez is one of very few members who isn't a multi millionaire. It practically a prerequisite of running these days!
 
 
+4 # HarryP 2018-12-27 11:14
During a shutdown, it’s the “nin-essential” departments that are not funded. The “essential” branches keep on rolling.

Bu shutting down the government, Congress and the White House offer proof that they have become “non-essential. ” They have abdicated their role in governing. They thus do not deserve to be paid.

And if the shutdown lasts for, say, a week they should not be paid retroactively. As the Bible says, those who do not work do not deserve to eat. (Sine most are millionaires, it shouldn’t pose a particular hardship. And since most claim to sleep with a Bible under their pillows, I’m sure they understand that sacred injunction.) You can’t expect a worker who has walked off the job to be paid for missed time.
 
 
+4 # Diane_Wilkinson_Trefethen_aka_tref 2018-12-27 14:03
Quoting HarryP:
You can’t expect a worker who has walked off the job to be paid for missed time.
This comment is darn near perfect.

But gee. How interesting that this "progressive" comment looks just like a conservative comment. Aren't "conservatives" the ones making the case that people who CHOOSE not to work don't deserve to be paid? Well, Congress has CHOSEN not to work by failing to do its job. That means they shouldn't get paid, right? I don't mean "have their pay suspended". I mean "NOT GET PAID AT ALL", just like they advocate for the poor and non-privileged regular folks.
 
 
+1 # HarryP 2018-12-31 23:15
Diane: I have trouble understanding how this is a “conservative [political] comment.” It has everything to do with the job you have agreed to do for pay and then not showing up.

As for the conservatives’ approach for the welfare state, they are fully in favor for it. But not for all. Not for the unemployed, the sick, the lame. But they are for giving a helping hand to banks, farmers, owners of sports teams, etc. Paying Congress and the prez after they shut down the government is just another form of welfare.
 
 
+1 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2018-12-28 07:51
HP -- I agree with you. Sorry. I'm sure that gives you some trepidation. The government is shut down as a bargaining strategy from both sides. They won't budge over the issue of the Great Wall of Trump. In the end, we all know there will be a deal. One side will win and the other will lose. Or there will be a 50/50 compromise. I suggest that we make a law that requires government -- president and congress -- to say on the job until the final resolution is reached. This is how they become "essential." This is what most of us have to do when we face a tough deal.
 
 
0 # HarryP 2018-12-31 22:46
Rodion: I agree with you and do,so without trepidation.
 
 
+2 # wrknight 2018-12-28 09:44
Quoting HarryP:
...And since most claim to sleep with a Bible under their pillows, I’m sure they understand that sacred injunction.

While advocating the teachings of Christ, I am inclined to distrust most people who sleep with bibles under their pillows.
 
 
+12 # Concerned Citizen 2018-12-27 11:31
Good to see ethics and concern for real people working its way back into Congress with the new class of progressives!
 
 
+4 # tedrey 2018-12-27 12:04
Maybe a president who originally looked forward to a shutdown and vetoing compromise proposals might sacrifice a few bucks himself?
 
 
+12 # Diane_Wilkinson_Trefethen_aka_tref 2018-12-27 14:15
I’m sure Peter Wade means well in this article but he clearly has fallen for the Big Lie since he repeats it. “A quarter of the federal government is currently shut down because Republicans and Democrats could not agree on funding of the president’s border wall”. This is little better than saying, “Rapes occur because women choose to walk alone, at night, wear sexy clothing, are young, fill-in-the-bla nk.” It isn’t Congress that caused this debacle. It is Trump’s cowardice, buckling to a handful of right wing talking heads instead of serving the 330+ million people in America.

Let’s not take our eyes off the ball here. The Republican eunuchs in the House caved too but face it. They did not cave FIRST.
 
 
+5 # Lolanne 2018-12-27 14:54
It isn't necessarily congressional salaries that should stop this time. It would be much more just and to the point if trump's income from OUR government was stopped as long as the shutdown continues. I want to see this crook behind bars!
 
 
+9 # wrknight 2018-12-27 20:07
Additionally, the President's salary should be frozen, his Air Force One grounded except for national emergency and his staff, secret service, chauffeur, cooks, janitors should all be furloughed.

Maybe we can even furlough Trump. He is definitely non-essential personnel.