As the federal government shutdown continues with no signs of stopping, tens of thousands have signed a petition demanding that members of Congress receive no pay for the duration of the budget stalemate.
A CourageCampaign petition on MoveOn.org calling for a block on congressional pay until the shutdown is over had over 176,000 signatures as of Thursday afternoon.
“Starting October 1st, hundreds of thousands of middle-class federal employees will be furloughed due to irresponsible members of Congress who refuse to govern for the well-being of the American people. The GOP-controlled House of Representatives decided to shut down the government rather than pass a spending bill that funds the Affordable Care Act," reads the petition, started by CourageCampaign Executive Chairman Paul Song. “Congress should take responsibility for their own inaction and lose their paychecks until they come to a resolution."
While over 800,000 federal workers are currently furloughed without pay — and no guarantee of receiving back pay — rank-and-file members of Congress will continue to earn their $174,000 annual salaries throughout the impasse. Congressional pay is protected by the 27th Amendment, which states that no law changing the rate of compensation for members may take effect until after an election in the House of Representatives.
On Tuesday, Rep. Rick Nolan (D-Minn.) introduced the "No Government — No Pay Act," which would stop members from being paid until the government is back up and running.
"The inability of this Congress to collaborate, compromise, and get things done has led me to introduce legislation to prohibit Members from being paid when failure to do their job results in a government shutdown," Nolan said in a statement. "It’s time for Congress to start living in the real world – where you either do your job, or you don’t get paid."
Many lawmakers have decided to either forfeit or donate their compensation until a solution is reached.