Oct 1, 2013, 10:52 am
Suspend Congressional pay during government shutdowns
- By Dawud Walid
Congress should have its pay cut during partial government shutdowns so that members can feel what average Americans go through when senators and congressmen fail to work together.
Some 800,000 federal government employees are on unpaid leave right now. They have bills to pay. The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, known as WIC, has now been effected. WIC grants assistance to approximately 7 million infants, children and their mothers. Family members of veterans killed in service to our country have their benefits temporarily suspended during shutdowns. The Environmental Protection Agency, which regulates and investigates environmental pollution, is also in limbo.
The effects of what is taking place shows complete irresponsibility, bordering on criminality given that the shutdown is due to some who want to cut funding of the Affordable Care Act, which was passed by Congress, signed into law by President Obama, and upheld as constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Given that 48 percent of congressmen are millionaires, however, many of them wouldn’t be affected by their pay being temporarily cut. They don’t worry about paying their rent and health insurance nor nutrition security for their children. However, the other half of their colleagues would feel the pinch by having their pay frozen. Perhaps those congressmen would push fellow members back into a position of sanity if they faces failing behind on their bills.
The last partial government shutdown was 17 years ago when there was also a Democratic president and a GOP Speaker of the House. Hopefully, we will not see this happen again in our lifetime. If so, it should be stipulated that the same women and men in Congress who jeopardize the income and food security of millions of Americans should also have their pay frozen.
When they suffer personal costs, perhaps they’ll act in a more responsible manner.