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Congress Gets Paid While Others Don’t

January 29, 2019
By Anesa McGregor , Emmetsburg News

The federal government was shut down on December 22, 2018. That meant 800,000 federal employees were not getting paid, while 420,000 were considered "essential" and were working and not getting a paycheck.

Essential employees include air traffic controllers, Transportation Security Administration officials and border patrol agents. Those people who are in the sector of national security and air safety continued to work without pay. If any essential employee did not show up for work, they received AWOL status, "Absent Without Leave."

With this many people not collecting a paycheck, how could the leaders of our country play a game with people's lives? President Trump went to Congress, asked for $5 million and the Democratic controlled House and Senate said no. President Trump shutdown the federal government.

In retaliation for the government shutdown, Pelosi sent the President a letter claiming she wanted to cancel the State of the Union Address due to security worries.

So, while there were 800,000 federal employees not collecting a paycheck including the 420,000 essential employees working without pay, Speaker Pelosi decided to fly to Afghanistan via military plane. In a tit-for-tat action, President Trump sends a letter telling Pelosi if she wants to fly, fly commercial.

It's amazing, grown men and women find it necessary to act like children. Showing how foolish our leaders can act is not good for our county's reputation. Becoming a great nation again and a world leader will never happen with leaders who act the way our current leaders are acting.

My biggest problem with Congress, with so many not receiving a paycheck, how can members of the House and Senate sleep at night knowing that they were still collecting a paycheck through the government shutdown?

I don't know exactly how many paychecks Congress gets in a year, but for my purpose, I assumed that they would get paid monthly.

Members of the House and Senate receive $174,500 annually. The Majority and Minority leaders of each branch receive $193,400 annually. Senator Chuck Schumer makes $193,400 a year. People who work in the House receive $172,500. Finally, as Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi has an annual income of $223,500. Monthly, the income for each of the above looks like this: members of Congress, $14,542 per month, Majority/Minority Leaders $16,117 a month, House workers, $14,375 per month and Nancy Pelosi, $18,625. Pelosi's estimated worth is $29 million. Monthly income for all listed is $7,738,554 and yearly, Congress makes $94,026,648. I found these numbers staggering, especially with so many not getting paid.

I have not forgotten that President Trump also collects an income monthly. Our President has donated all his income to charities since he first took the oath of office. Also, a few members of Congress have not taken a check.

I shy away from political discussions. Too many fights and hard feelings have come with political discussions. This is just too hypocritical to not discuss. Neither side is acting particularly grown up. It's time for Congress to take action. When bills were put in front of them to pay federal employees during the shutdown, they voted "No" three times.

Federal employees deserve their paychecks during a shutdown, even though they will get retro pay when they go back to work. The federal government cannot use its employees as pawns to get their own way.

Do we really need a US-Mexico wall? I don't know. Does some type of action need to be taken? I think so. What do we need? I don't know. Does anyone have the answer?

If someone wants into the United States bad enough, they will find a way. I'm not against anyone coming to the United States as long as it is done according to the laws we have in place.

 
 
 

 

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