The U.S. government is still shut down, meaning hundreds of thousands of federal employees will be asked to work without pay or stay home from work. But the 535 members of Congress are still collecting paychecks.
As The Washington Times reports, it's in the Constitution: "Article I, Section 6 of the U.S. Constitution allows the lawmakers to still get paid their salaries, despite the federal government being shut down due to their inability to reach an agreement."
Not all congressional members are going to accept pay during the shutdown, however. At least three of North Carolina's members say they're refusing their salary while the shutdown continues, including Republican Rep. Mark Walker:
Democratic Sen. Mazie Hirono says she will donate the pay she receives during the shutdown to Hawaii's federally qualified community health centers:
Just how much do members of Congress bring home? They've been receiving an annual salary since 1855, when they were paid $3,000 per year.
Today, "the compensation for most Senators, Representatives, Delegates, and the Resident Commissioner from Puerto Rico is $174,000," the Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports, with a few exceptions. They also receive retirement and health benefits.
Here's a breakdown of the annual salary of members, officers and officials of the House. Salaries have not been increased since 2009, the CRS notes.
Speaker of the House: $223,500
Majority and Minority Leaders: $193,400
All other Representatives (including Delegates and Resident Commissioner from Puerto Rico): $174,000
Chief Administrative Officer: $172,500
Clerk of the House: $172,500
Sergeant at Arms: $172,500
Legislative Counsel: $172,500
Law Revision Counsel: $172,500
Inspector General: $172,500
Director, Interparliamentary Affairs: $172,500
General Counsel to the House: $172,500