President Barack Obama and members of Congress may soon have added incentive to reach a budget deal and avert a possible government shutdown: their own six-figure salaries.
The Democratic-led Senate unanimously passed a bill on late Tuesday to deny pay to the president and U.S. lawmakers during government shutdowns. The measure now goes to the Republican-led House for final congressional approval, which would clear the way for Obama to sign it into law.
“If we fail to keep the government operating, which is our basic responsibility, then we don’t deserve a paycheck,” said Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer, a chief sponsor of the bill.
The stakes in the budget showdown are sky high. And they would be even higher for Washington power brokers if the Boxer bill becomes law.
Obama’s annual pay is $400,000. Most members of Congress receive $174,000 a year, while House Speaker John Boehner gets $223,500 and the Republican and Democratic leaders in both chambers receive $193,400.