If federal employees aren’t paid during a government shutdown, members of Congress shouldn’t be either, says Utah Rep. John Curtis.
On Tuesday, Curtis reintroduced his “No Work, No Pay Act” for the third time. The legislation would prevent members of Congress from being paid during federal government shutdowns, like a potential standstill that could happen this weekend.
“I’ve introduced the No Work, No Pay Act to ensure that Congress doesn’t receive a paycheck during government shutdowns,” Curtis said in a statement. “It’s a common-sense measure, and I appreciate everyone’s support for this bill.”
This will be Curtis’ fourth government shutdown during his tenure, his office said. As he has done in previous federal standstills, Curtis says he will ask the Clerk of House to stop his pay until the shutdown ends.
“It seems so obvious, I know, but we need legislation to make it happen,” the congressman said in a video posted to social media. “[The legislation] also makes sure that there is no back pay for Congress.”
The shutdown centers on Congress’ inability to agree on funding for Ukraine and disaster aid.
Democrats seek robust funding, while Republicans are pushing for federal spending cuts. The Senate released a bipartisan funding bill on Tuesday, that would fund the government until Nov. 17. That bill includes $6 billion toward Ukraine’s war effort and $6 billion toward U.S. disaster relief nationwide while Congress continues to negotiate a long-term solution.
That bill may pass the Senate by Oct. 1 funding deadline, but it “ain’t gonna pass the House,” as Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, said, according to Politico.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has asked House Republicans to vote for a different bill that would keep the government operating, The Associated Press reported. That legislation — which has been opposed by President Joe Biden, Democrats, and some Republicans — would cut federal spending by 8% and beef up southern border security.
“This is not a revenue problem,” Utah Rep. Blake Moore said last Wednesday in a House Budget Committee meeting. “This is a spending problem, and every single American knows it.”
Utah Sen. Mike Lee, who has been an instigator of previous shutdowns, said on Monday that he hoped the government would not come to a halt, though he is against the Senate’s proposed stopgap bill.
“When it comes to spending bills, Republican leadership in the Senate has proven really effective at three things: 1. Uniting Democrats. 2. Dividing Republicans. 3. Keeping lobbyists happy. This must come to an end,” the senator posted on X.
If funding is not secured by Sunday, Oct. 1 — the beginning of the 2024 fiscal year — the U.S. government will largely be closed. Many government employees, including public safety employees and military members, would be furloughed or may have to work without pay.