Washington, D.C. – On Wednesday, Rep. Ralph Norman (SC-5) and Rep. Vern Buchanan (FL-16) introduced a constitutional amendment that would prohibit Members of Congress from receiving compensation during a government shutdown.
2023 represents the 27th consecutive year in which Congress has not fulfilled its duty of appropriating a budget by the end of the fiscal year on September 30th.
Government shutdowns disrupt the efficiency of nearly every federal agency while service members and most federal civilian employees forego their pay. Without any accountability, Congress has continued to fail to meet their appropriations deadline for decades, yet continues to receive compensation each time.
This constitutional amendment would prohibit Member pay while a government shutdown is in effect without receiving backpay. It is the intent of the bill to encourage congressional leadership to pass all 12 appropriations bills on time.
Rep. Norman issued the following statement on Tuesday: “Members of Congress have a constitutional duty to fund necessary functions of the government, and I'd argue we must do so without piling trillions of dollars in debt onto our future generations.
If a shutdown of non-essential services occurs because Congress cannot meet these obligations, then Members should not be paid. Nowhere else in America would employees get paid for failing to do their jobs, yet that's exactly what happens for Members during a shutdown. That's inappropriate, and it's time to amend the Constitution to prevent that from happening."
Rep. Buchanan added: “No small business in America would pay someone who refuses to do their job,” said Buchanan. “So why should taxpayers pay a Congress that fails to perform one of its most fundamental responsibilities – funding the federal government? They shouldn’t, which is why I’m pleased to help introduce this legislation to block paychecks for senators and members of Congress during a government shutdown.”
Pay Our Military Act of 2023
Also on Tuesday, Rep. Norman co-sponsored H.R. 5641
, the "Pay Our Military Act of 2023." This legislation would ensure members of our military continue to be paid on time should there be a temporary lapse in appropriations from Congress.