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A federal federal government shutdown method that thousands of federal government employees — from Washington bureaucrats come park ranger — go without paychecks till the standoff in Washington resolves.

But there are 535 commonwealth employees who still acquire paid: members of Congress.

Unlike other federal employees, senators and House members proceed to gain paid v a federal government shutdown. That’s because their salaries space literally written into the Constitution. Article 1, section 6 specifies, “The Senators and also Representatives shall receive a Compensation for their Services, to it is in ascertained by Law, and paid out of the Treasury of the joined States.”

What’s more, the 27th amendment actually prevents Congress from transforming its own salaries between elections. It says that “No law varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and also Representatives shall take it effect, till an election of to represent shall have intervened.”

The constitution does not, however, protect the incomes of congressional staff members or any other federal employees. Together’s Tara Golshan and Dylan Matthews explain, the remainder of the federal government is separated into two teams — one that proceeds to work, and one that is furloughed and also told to continue to be home:

Federal employee are split into “essential” and also “nonessential” groups. Nonessential employees get furloughs: they stop acquiring paid and also are off work-related until the shutdown is resolved. Crucial workers also stop acquiring paid, yet they still need to work. Usually once a shutdown is over, commonwealth employees space paid ago the salaries they walk without.

Some members of congress have currently promised to forgo their salaries during the shutdown, perhaps donating them to charity instead. Rep. Note Walker (R-NC) claims he’ll it is in “refusing” his salary.

As lengthy as 100,000 energetic duty company men and women based in NC space defending our liberty with no pay, the really least I deserve to do is command by instance with mine letter to the CAO of congress refusing my salary together well. #SchumerShutdown

— Rep. Mark Walker (
RepMarkWalker) January 21, 2018

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The Washington post estimates the 248 congress members refused their incomes or donated them come charity throughout the 2013 shutdown, i beg your pardon lasted 16 days.

Late last week, part moderate Democrats, led through Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), introduced a invoice that would certainly bar legislators from obtaining paid during a shutdown. It’s not clear exactly how this would interact with the 27th amendment — which appears to pretty clearly state the such legislations cannot be passed in between elections.

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