More than three-dozen members of Congress have signed onto ‘No Budget, No Pay’ pledge

Washington Post

by Felicia Sonmez

A bipartisan group of 38 members of Congress had signed onto Sen. Joe Manchin’s “No Budget, No Pay” pledge as of Friday afternoon, with a potential government shutdown less than seven hours away.

In the pledge, which Manchin circulated via a letter to colleagues on Thursday morning, the West Virginia Democrat states that “I will donate my salary to charity or return it to the Treasury until the government works again.”

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) notified members Friday morning that he would forego his salary during a shutdown and gave members details on how they could return their own salaries to the Treasury if they chose to.

While many members who have offered to give up their pay are trying to show solidarity with furloughed federal workers, data from the Center for Responsive Politics suggests that foregoing their congressional salaries would not make much of a dent in many members’ finances.

According to a November 2010 CRP report, of the 535 members of the 111th Congress, nearly half – 261 – were millionaires. A CRP report from earlier this month showed that the average Senate freshman in the 112th Congress was worth $4 million, while the average House freshman had an estimated wealth of $570,418. House members had an overall net worth of $5 million, while senators’ average net worth was $13 million.

There could even be some questions over whether members of Congress can legally halt their own pay, as The Post’s Al Kamen wrote about on Thursday.

Even so, the number of members signing onto the Manchin pledge is a reminder that in politics, perception is as important as reality.

The full list of lawmakers who have signed Manchin’s pledge at this time is below.

— Staff writer Dan Eggen contributed to this report.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.)

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.)

Rep. John Barrow (D-Ga.)

Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.)

Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska)

Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.)

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.)

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.)

Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.)

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio)

Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.)

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine)

Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.)

Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.)

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.)

Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.)

Rep. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.)

Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.)

Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.)

Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wis.)

Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.)

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.)

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.)

Rep. Mike McIntyre (D-N.C.)

Rep. Mike Michaud (D-Maine)

Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.)

Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.)

Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine)

Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio)

Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.)

Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.)

Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.)

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.)

Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine)

Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.)

Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.)

Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.)

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.)