It is my impression (perhaps incorrect) that Congressional operations has already been funded through the end of this fiscal year, consequentially not impacted directly by this current shutdown.

However, were that not the case, (that is that MOC are working on delayed paydates), when is the first paycheck they would get showing zero funds?

(Question refers to members of Congress only, not to congressional staff)

  • 3
    To avoid ambiguity, by members of Congress, you do specifically mean senators and representatives, or are you including their staff?
    – origimbo
    Commented Jan 15, 2019 at 18:41
  • 3
    To avoid ambiguity - members of Congress (MOC) referrs to elected. Congressional staff are not referred to as members.
    – BobE
    Commented Jan 15, 2019 at 20:19

4 Answers 4


Besides what other people have said, Congressional member salaries are funded by a permanent appropriation. Members of Congress do not have paychecks delayed. Even in a total shutdown, they do not have paychecks delayed. Their salaries are fully appropriated in perpetuity, and do not need to be re-appropriated annually.

  • Best answer thus far and much appreciated, however still do not know when is the next "payday" or what the length of the pay period is for MoC
    – BobE
    Commented Jan 16, 2019 at 3:41
  • 2
    @BobE If you wish to know when members of congress get paid, I would recommend a separate question; "When do members of congress get paid?" would be a good title. Commented Jan 16, 2019 at 16:35

The answer by @cpast answers the question as to Members of Congress having "missed a paycheck" by virtue of current the U.S. Government "shutdown". In plain language, no. Members of Congress do not "miss" paychecks, unless they expressly decide to do so.

However, were that not the case, (that is that MOC are working on delayed paydates), when is the first paycheck they would get showing zero funds?.

See Salaries of Members of Congress: Recent Actions and Historical Tables Updated November 26, 2018

Congress is required by Article I, Section 6, of the Constitution to determine its own pay.

also Congressional Salaries and Allowances: In Brief

Article I, Section 6, of the U.S. Constitution authorizes compensation for Members of Congress “ascertained by law, and paid out of the Treasury of the United States.” Adjustments are governed by the Ethics Reform Act of 1989 (2 U.S.C. §4501) and the 27th Amendment to the Constitution.

both published by the Congressional Research Service.

Some members of Congress have contacted the Chief Administrative Officer of the U.S. House of Representative or U.S. Senate, during different U.S. Government "shutdown"s, including U.S. Representative Mark Walker R-North Carolina, to state that they do not desire to receive compensation for a given period of time.

Concerning the supplemental inquiry made at comment to @cpast's answer

however still do not know when is the next "payday" or what the length of the pay period is for MoC

According to the report published by CNN on April 11, 2011 When is payday for government? by Ed Hornick

CNN asked how those affected get paid:

The office of the House Chief Administrative Officer said that lawmakers get paid on the first of the month. Others, including their staffers and other personnel, receive a paycheck at the end of the month.

According to the Secretary of the Senate's office, all those in the Senate - lawmakers, staff and other personnel - are paid on the 5th and 20th of every month.


By Constitutional Law, the pay of Congress can not be altered without first facing an election year. The idea was to prevent Congress from voting itself a raise while ticking off their constituents. So every member of the House and one third of the Senate must be re-elected in order to receive a raise past in the last session. Unfortunately, due to the wording, this means that Congressional Pay can not negatively be affected without elections, so Congress cannot receive no pay during a government shutdown.

  • Article 1, section 6 might be relevant as well, since it's sometimes argued that this implies withholding congressional pay would be unconstitutional.
    – origimbo
    Commented Jan 15, 2019 at 21:19
  • 1
    I am not asking about altering the pay of Congress, rather I am asking if they have had funds delayed.
    – BobE
    Commented Jan 15, 2019 at 21:50

Congressional salaries are outlined in a separate law from the appropriations legislation (funding for proposed bills). The partial shutdown (it's only a partial one) is caused by the failure to cut a deal on the unfunded appropriations. Congress continues to be paid under different bill. That cannot be changed by Congress without an election year. (@hszmv was referring to that above.) Same for the President's salary. However, President Trump donates his entire salary to charity and asks the White House Press Pool to choose the charities.

As for pay periods, the Congressional Handbook does not detail how often Congress members are paid. It specifies only annual totals. Congressional Pay Periods do not appear to be posted anywhere. The Congressional Handbook does outline that they get a base salary and a LOT more.

But, Congress will NOT miss a paycheck...ever. Article 1, Section VI of the US Constitution ensures that they are paid.

Federal Employees are paid every other Friday (next one is Jan 25th). If Congressional pay falls under Federal Employee pay, then their next paycheck is Jan 25th.

  • I don't know how I can ask this more clearly, do MOC's get their pay on a monthly basis or a some other period. If they are paid monthly, when is their next paydate?
    – BobE
    Commented Jan 16, 2019 at 0:43

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