Who gets paid in a shutdown? Congress!

house_freshmen.gi.top.jpgThe freshman class of the 112th Congress. They'll get paid in a shutdown. By Charles Riley, staff reporter


NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- If lawmakers can't agree on a spending bill before the clock strikes midnight, a couple million federal workers won't be getting paychecks on time. Troops fighting in Afghanistan won't be paid on time either.

Some 800,000 workers likely to be furloughed aren't guaranteed back pay.

You know who will get paid? Members of Congress and President Obama. And their checks will arrive right on time.

The salaries paid to lawmakers and the president are financed through mandatory appropriations. And that part of the budget won't be affected by the shutdown.

That's right. The folks responsible for the shutdown won't feel any of the pain they are dishing out to federal workers, or even their own staff members, who won't be paid.

Rank-and-file members of the House get paid $174,000 a year. The top members of each party earn even more. And Obama is paid $400,000 a year.

For image conscious lawmakers, this presents quite a problem.

And so it's easy to understand the flurry of bills in the House and Senate over the past few months that would prohibit lawmakers from being paid in the event of a shutdown.

The Senate passed a stand-alone bill last month that would have done just that. Twenty-one senators wrote a letter to House Speaker John Boehner asking him to move the bill through the House. The bill was never voted on.

On Friday, Boehner alerted House members that he would return his own paycheck and explained how others could do the same.

At issue is the 27th amendment, which prohibits laws about lawmaker compensation from taking effect until the following congressional term.

The failure of lawmakers to change the status quo has led some members of Congress to pledge their salaries to charity or give the money back to the Treasury.

More than twenty members have signed a letter circulated by Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia that asks members to forgo their pay.

"I can't imagine that the president, vice president or any member of Congress -- Republican or Democrat -- thinks they should get paid when the government has shut down," Manchin writes in the letter. To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,131.97 100.83 0.59%
Nasdaq 4,552.76 33.86 0.75%
S&P 500 1,998.98 14.85 0.75%
Treasuries 2.59 -0.00 -0.08%
Data as of 2:11am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Apple Inc 100.86 -0.77 -0.76%
Bank of America Corp... 16.71 -0.03 -0.18%
Yahoo! Inc 42.71 0.16 0.38%
Alcoa Inc 16.16 -0.23 -1.40%
Facebook Inc 76.08 1.50 2.01%
Data as of Sep 16

Sections

Scotland's independence vote is too close to call but those who want to keep Britain united won this year's campaign funding race by some distance. More

The FBI's new facial recognition system lets local police easily identify you. It will one day spot you from your iris, voice and the way you walk. More

Y Combinator president Sam Altman is teaching a startup class at Stanford with Silicon Valley heavy hitters as guest lecturers. Bonus: All the videos will be available for free online. More

Occupy Wall Street offshoot Strike Debt says it has abolished nearly $4 million in private student loan debt for students who attended Everest College, part of Corinthian Colleges. More

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.