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.