Why are members of Congress paid during a government shutdown?

27th Amendment is clear about congressional pay


JACKSONVILLE, Fla – It's something many people ask during a government shutdown: Why do members of Congress still get paid?

Look to the 27th Amendment. It states the current Congress can't actually stop itself from getting paid and the salaries of those in the House and Senate can't be altered until the start of a new term. A new term starts in January. The idea was to prevent members of Congress from giving themselves a raise before an election took place.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, an incoming freshman representative from New York has suggested members of Congress go without pay during a shutdown.


During the last shutdown in January Reps. John Delaney, Rick Allen and Mia Love donated their salaries.

Most members of Congress are paid $174,000. The Speaker of the House gets $223,000, and the majority and minority leaders of both the House and the Senate are paid $193,400.

In addition, the shutdown affects agencies and employees that are funded through annual budgets.