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Nolan introduces bill eliminating lawmaker pay during a shutdown

With only a month left for Congress to negotiate a budget and avoid another federal government shutdown, U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan on Thursday reintroduced his 'No Government, No Pay' Act of 2017 requiring lawmakers to join the ranks of hundreds of thousands of public employees who would not be paid if and when the government ceases operations.

"It's time to put an end to government by crisis management," Nolan said in a news release from his office. "And it's time for Congress to start living in the real world, where you either do your job or you don't get paid. If hundreds of thousands of other federal employees are to go without their salaries then the Congress should not be paid either."

Nolan's legislation would take effect with the 116th Congress, the release said. The Constitution requires that bills changing Congressional pay not apply to the Congress that approves pay-altering legislation. Nolan introduced a similar bill before the October 2013 shutdown that furloughed more than 800,000 federal employees for 16 days. Nolan donated his salary during that time to charities in Minnesota's 8th District.

"Those 16 days of partisanship and uncertainty took $24 billion out of our economy and cost us 120,000 jobs," Nolan said. "Military training facilities like Camp Ripley in the 8th District were seriously affected. Businesses like Duluth-based Cirrus suffered; products were left sitting on our ports; national parks were closed; EPA inspections of hazardous and chemical waste sites were postponed; veterans' disability claims were stalled; and Head Start centers were closed."

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