Your Questions Answered: Do the president and other officials get paid during the shutdown?

By Chris Henao - Assistant News Director

As the now-historic government shutdown continues to drag on, we asked our viewers to send in their questions about it, with the promise that we would work to find the answers!

What questions do you have about the government shutdown? Ask us here.

One question was submitted from a viewer named Leticia. She wanted to know if the president and other government officials still get paid during the shutdown.

Here's what we found out:

The short answer is that the president is still getting paid because of rules laid out in the Constitution.  

A Congressional Research Service (CRS) report from December explains it further:

With regard to the President’s pay, Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution forbids the salary of the President to be reduced while he or she is in office, thus effectively guaranteeing the President of compensation regardless of any shutdown action."

President Trump has stated in the past that his presidential salary is being donated to different government programs. Given that the Constitution requires the president to be paid, President Trump is said to keep just $1 out of his $400,000 yearly salary.

Members of Congress also will continue to get paid during the shutdown and, like the president, the rules are set in the Constitution.

Going back to that CRS report, it explains:

"Members of Congress are not subject to furlough. Additionally, Article I, Section 6, of the Constitution states that Members of Congress “shall receive a Compensation for their Services, to be ascertained by Law, and paid out of the Treasury of the United States."

And the 27th Amendment states, "No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened."

There have been a number of lawmakers who have said they are not accepting pay during the shutdown.

One interesting note is that even if Congress passed a law changing their pay, or whether they got paid during a shutdown, the law wouldn’t take effect until 2020 at the earliest.

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