Nolan proposes no pay for Congress during shutdown

n_hardball_4syria_130619Northeastern Minnesota U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan (D-MN8) finds himself making headlines amid another big story today with his introduction of the “No Government – No Pay Act” of 2013.

Under Nolan’s bill, members of Congress would not be paid during any period of federal government shutdown. From Nolan’s statement:

In the event of a shutdown, Congress must work around the clock without pay to resolve a budget crisis.

Meanwhile, if other working people are to go without pay, and important government services are shut down – jeopardizing jobs and our economic recovery – then the Congress responsible for the mess should not be paid either.

It’s time for Congress to start living in the real world – where you either do your job, or you don’t get paid.

Critics will call this grandstanding on a day when almost the entire country hates Congress. (Other versions of the measure have been stuck in Congress for some time). And that might be true. But this is the second big issue in recent months where Nolan has gained some national attention for correctly assessing the desires of the electorate and bucking leadership in Congress and even his own party. He was a leading voice in protesting any U.S. involvement in Syria and, while that ended up a complicated political morass, he played it remarkably well and “got his way,” which was also the solution most favored by voters in polls.

It remains to be seen how long the federal government shutdown will endure. Today’s effects are mostly on workers (millions of them, with families), but in coming days those effects will rain hard on citizens and, soon enough, the entire economy. Watch the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Watch the polls. And watch for scenes like this one, where today dozens of WWII veterans stormed the barricades in front of their war memorial.


  1. Joe Wivoda says

    I like the idea, but it appears to be in violation of the 27th amendment. That states “No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened”. Perhaps it could go into effect after November 2014, if I read it right. It would be so awesome to watch them vote on this too!

    • Jim Swiderski says

      The Nolan bill takes effect with the 114th Congress, the next Congress, in order to avoid the problem of the 27th Amendment. I am Legislative Director for Congressman Nolan.

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