Some progress has been made in the completely avoidable stoppage—President Obama and House Republicans actually met!—but ultimately they’re still at odds.
Polls show that Republicans are mostly being blamed for the shutdown.
A bill has been passed that will give federal workers back-pay once the shutdown ends, but members of Congress face no such threat, as their salaries are guaranteed.
Ro Khanna, a challenger to incumbent Mike Honda (D-San Jose), recently said he wouldn’t take his paycheck if he were in office, and he challenged Honda to do the same.
“There ought to be consequences for Congress’s inability to do its job,” Khanna wrote in a letter to Honda. “Members ought to be accountable to the taxpayers who pay their salaries.”
Khanna added that not taking pay “would be a show of good faith to your constituents here in the 17th District who expect better from Congress and their own representative.”
When asked for a response, Honda’s spokesman Anthony Kusich replied, “He’s taking his paycheck.”
Khanna is not alone in asking why Congress gets paid for not doing its job while 800,000 federal workers are furloughed. A handful of California’s congressional leaders have already stopped taking their paychecks during the shutdown or, in the case of California senators Diane Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, donated them to charity.
Circulating petitions are requesting that members of Congress give up their pay during the shutdown. A petition on moveon.org has already gathered more than 410,000 signatures.