Texas Congressman Pete Gallego Pushes To End Congressional Pay & Protect Military During A Shutdown

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Rep. Pete Gallego

Even if the federal government shuts down on Tuesday, current law preserves paychecks for members of Congress. On Sunday, Ted Cruz said he's planning to keep on taking his salary during a shutdown (which, if it happens, he will have caused).

On Saturday, West Texas' Rep. Pete Gallego introduced a bill to unprotect congressional paychecks during a shutdown – all 535 of them. The point, of course, is to take away the cushion on which Republicans can expect to receive their salaries if they shut down the federal government.  

“Congress should work around-the-clock, and do so without pay, to keep the government running,” the Democratic congressman said in a press release. “Putting the full faith and credit of the United States at risk should never be a debating point. A shutdown should not even be on the table – this is not rocket science.”  

Shutdown crusader Cruz is personally wealthy. In 2011, his family's income was more than $1.5 million. In 2012, he lent his campaign $800,000. He won't feel the pain that millions of federal workers, including our military, will.

Rep. Gallego also introduced the Preserve Our National Security Act to preserve the salaries of all military and other national security personnel. This includes the Departments of Defense, Veterans Affairs, and Homeland Security including both Border Patrol Agents and Customs and Border Protection officers at entry points.

“I'm appalled that extremists would hold the government, many of its employees, and even our border security hostage all for the sake of politics,” Gallego said. “My legislation would ensure that our Veterans and our security are not at risk should extremists succeed in shutting down the government.”

These are two great bills worthy of passing through Congress quickly. Republicans have not left the Cruz ship yet, with House Republicans having just passed a bill attaching a delay to key parts of Obamacare to the budget.

Pete Gallego is powerfully representing the state and country's best interests, while Ted Cruz's ego brings us to the brink of government shutdown.

Read Rep. Gallego's full press release below the jump.

    Gallego Files Legislation To Hold Members Of Congress Accountable In Event of Government Shutdown



Sep 28, 2013 Press Release

Two separate bills would suspend pay for Members of Congress and protect national security and veterans during a shutdown

Washington, D.C.: Congressman Pete P. Gallego (TX-23) tonight filed two bills that hold lawmakers accountable in the event of a government shutdown.

The first – The Shutdown Member of Congress Pay Act of 2013 – would suspend pay for Members of Congress in the event of a government shutdown.

“Congress should work around-the-clock, and do so without pay, to keep the government running,” said Congressman Gallego. “Putting the full faith and credit of the United States at risk should never be a debating point.  A shutdown should not even be on the table – this is not rocket science.”  

The second – The Preserve our National Security Act – would add protections for uniformed and civilian personnel at the Department of Defense, the Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Homeland Security – including Border Patrol Agents and CBP officers at ports of entry – as well as employees of the Intelligence agencies to ensure national security is not at risk in the event of a government shutdown.

“I'm appalled that extremists would hold the government, many of its employees, and even our border security hostage all for the sake of politics,” said Congressman Gallego. “My legislation would ensure that our Veterans and our security are not at risk should extremist succeed in shutting down the government.”

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About Author

Ben Sherman

Ben Sherman has been a BOR staff writer since 2011. A graduate of the University of Texas, Ben has worked on campaigns, in political consulting, and has written for other news outlets like Think Progress. Ben considers campaign finance reform the fundamental challenge of our time because it distorts almost every other issue in American politics.

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