WATCH: Americans don't want Congress to get paid if government shuts down
'Get off your ass and do something,' one interviewee said when asked what he would tell Congress.
Campus Reform reporter William Biagini took to the streets of Washington, D.C., to gather public opinions on a proposal by Representative John James to withhold Congressional salaries in the event of a government shutdown.
The proposal, known as the “Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is Act,” comes as the House of Representatives faces a tight deadline to pass a spending bill, raising the possibility of a government shutdown. The act would ensure that Congress members do not receive their salaries if the government shuts down.
Biagini interviewed several individuals, and the consensus among those interviewed was in favor of the proposal. Many expressed the belief that Congress should be held to the same standards as other federal employees and that withholding pay might prompt Congress to act more responsibly.
One interviewee stated, “I believe the government shuts down, they shouldn’t get their paychecks. They should have the same responsibilities and rules that everybody else does in the federal government.”
Another person emphasized that many Congress members have other businesses and should be able to provide for their families without their Congressional salaries. The sentiment was that if the average person in America gets laid off and doesn’t get paid, Congress members should face the same consequences.
The conversation also touched on the current opinion of Congress, with many expressing low confidence and dissatisfaction with the toxicity and tribalism in politics. Some called for a new era of cooperation and healing, while others lamented the lack of moderates and the demonization of middle ground.
The interview concluded with thoughts on the recent downgrade of the U.S. government’s credit score from AAA to AA+. Responses ranged from concerns about spending and the need to pay down debt to frustration with the dysfunction of Congress.
One interviewee’s message to Congress was direct: “Get off your ass and do something.”