One House member said he earned $6,283.99 over the government shutdown, when many agencies, monuments and services were closed but Congress was still in session trying to hammer out a deal.
Federal workers didn’t get paid during the shutdown but their retroactive pay was approved in the deal to reopen the government.
Many lawmakers said they would either donate their salary to charity or refuse their pay in solidarity with federal workers and tell clerical staff that they didn’t want to receive a paycheck.
Those checks came anyway, pay required under the 27th Amendment.
Rep. Steve Pearce (R-N.M.) tried to refuse pay, but the paycheck came anyway. So he cut a check to the Treasury Department for $6,283.99.
“The check is a repayment of my salary during the 16 day period of the partial government shutdown and is to be used towards the reductions of public debt,” his letter to the Treasury states.
“The shutdown impacted Americans,” Pearce said, “and it is wrong for members of Congress to receive a paycheck while other government employees faced uncertainty. I announced when the shutdown began that I would return any pay received while the government wasn’t fully functioning. In returning my pay I have requested that the Treasury apply the full amount to the national debt.”
The only House members who earn more than the standard salary of $174,000 a year are the speaker and party leadership.