Senate approves Tester’s plan to stop Congressional pay if government shuts down

Senator’s measure, which would also cancel pay for the President, passes Senate unanimously

(U.S. SENATE) – The U.S. Senate today unanimously approved a plan by Senator Jon Tester to prevent members of Congress, and the President of the United States, from getting paid if the U.S. government fails to pass a budget and shuts down.

Congress and the President must agree on a budget for the remainder of the year by midnight this Friday, March 4, to avoid a Republican shutdown. 

If that happens, Tester’s legislation would cancel pay for Congress and the President.

“Congress needs to work together to pass a budget, and if we can’t do that, we don’t deserve a paycheck,” Tester said.  “Members of Congress have a responsibility to work together to cut spending and responsibly fund the services folks rely on.  That’s the way it works in Montana.  Now, I’m calling on folks in the House of Representatives to follow my lead and bring some Montana common sense to this debate.”

Tester has helped cancel several automatic cost-of-living adjustment pay hikes for members of Congress since 2007.  He has also introduced bipartisan legislation to permanently end automatic pay raises for members of Congress.

A copy of Tester’s legislation is available on Tester’s website, HERE, and appears below.


A BILL to prohibit Members of Congress and the President from receiving pay during Government shutdowns.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


IN GENERAL.—Members of Congress and the President shall not receive basic pay for any period in which—there is more than a 24-hour lapse in appropriations for any Federal agency or department as a result of a failure to enact a regular appropriations bill or continuing resolution; or the Federal Government is unable to make payments or meet obligations because the public debt limit under section 3101 of title 31, United States Code, has been reached.

RETROACTIVE PAY PROHIBITED.—No pay forfeited in accordance with subsection (a) may be paid retroactively.