April 7th, 2011
08:51 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Shutdown Showdown... Look Who Will Still Get Paid

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2011/images/04/07/1larg.govt.shutdown.protests.t1larg.jpg caption="Protesters demonstrate in front of the U.S. Capitol on Thursday urging government spending cuts." width=300 height=169]

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

Another emergency budget meeting is underway tonight at the White House between President Obama, House Speaker John Boenher and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. If a deal isn't reached by midnight Friday there will be a partial government shutdown.

Many federal workers, and even U.S. troops, would stop getting paid. But get this: the members of Congress who got us into this mess would still get their paychecks.

In an op-ed in today's New York Times, Nicolas Kristof shares a Twitter message written by humorist Andy Borowitz that puts the pay outrage in perspective.

"That's like eliminating the fire department & sending checks to the arsonists," Borowitz wrote.

Do you agree? Share your thoughts below.

We'll have the Raw Politics tonight on AC360°. CNN's Senior Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash will have the latest developments from Capitol Hill. We'll also talk with CNN's Dan Lothian at the White House and CNN Senior Political Analyst and former presidential adviser David Gergen.

Another scare in Japan today, when a major 7.1 aftershock hit close to the same area as the March 11 magnitude 9.0 quake, triggering a tsunami warning. Fortunately, no tsunami hit. But there are reports of some injuries.

In eastern Libya, four opposition fighters were killed today in NATO airstrikes. That's according to an opposition general who called the deaths an "unfortunate setback." The general said the NATO aircraft fired on his forces between Ajdabiya and al-Brega.

Hours after the strikes, opposition fighters fled Ajdabiya, along with hundreds of civilians as pro-Gadhafi forces gained ground.

We'll talk about today's developments with CNN's Ben Wedeman in eastern Libya. CIA officer Robert Baer and Professor Fouad Ajami at John Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies will also share their thoughts on the stalemate.

And, we’ll have Nic Robertson’s exclusive interview with Eman al-Obeidy at Gadhafi’s compound. In a face-to-face interview, she shares what she said she faced at the hands of Gadhafi’s forces. You’ll hear her accusations of rape and her message to the world.

Join us for these stories and much more starting at 10 p.m. ET on CNN.

Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
soundoff (35 Responses)

    This is crazy! Let the government shut down if necessary, but if the troops aren't being paid, then congress and the white house absolutely should not be paid!!! This country is going to hell in a hand basket. I will never vote for Debs/Repubs again. Dems wouldn't pass a budget when they had control of The White House, Senate and House, after Obama said in no uncertain terms that he won, deal with it; now it seems Repubs are remembering this (elephants never forget??????) Karma works; but, as usual, it's the regular people who are paying the price......

    April 7, 2011 at 11:43 pm |
  2. Shut down of the government

    These are sad times for America. It is so obvious that our lawmakers do not care abut the American people. Since they will be receiving their pay if the government shuts down–then they should earn their pay and stay until they can reach a decision about the budget.

    The American people will remember this when they go to the polls.

    April 7, 2011 at 11:42 pm |
  3. Cynthia

    Our government reminds me of the old Life Cereal commercials.
    This is congress:
    Republican: I don't want to cut it
    Democrat: I'm not gonna cut it.
    Republican to Democrat: Hey lets get "Mickey" He'll cut anything.
    Give me a break. Grow up, live in the real world, get it done, or get out of D.C. and let us get some people in there that can.!!!!

    Thanks Anderson, great show.

    April 7, 2011 at 11:41 pm |
  4. Machelle

    How can we as a Military family be secure in our commitment to our country if there is no commitment from our country to us. My Husband who is active duty is required to not only perform his duties daily his family is expected to support him no matter where his duty takes him. We endure the hardship of going months without our loved ones with us and now we have to also face the struggle of being able to pay our bills and put food on the table. If you choose to ignor all those that step up to protect this great nation and the freedoms that we all enjoy because of the sacrifices that they make then are disrespecting all that our country has been built on. This should have never even gotten this far, there is no way that thousands of families should be concerned about their basic needs, while those that make the decisions fear nothing.

    April 7, 2011 at 11:41 pm |
  5. Alessa H

    Of Course they make the mistakes and wash their hands like Pilates and Our Services member & their families have to pay the price.
    Honest people who are actually keeping this country free and fighting so they “congress members” can sleep peacefully at night.
    They should be the ones not receiving their heavy paychecks.

    April 7, 2011 at 11:39 pm |
  6. chuck

    come on, the general public really beleives that the feds wont get paid. i worked for the fed gov for 35 years and each and every time there was a shut down we got paid plus a free vacation, trust me the feds are welcoming a shut down. the general public doesnt have a clue how this works.

    April 7, 2011 at 11:39 pm |

    I dont care who you are or how important you think you are..I wouldnt have the unmitigated audacity to accept my pay as a congressman,knowing the very people working everyday to make my job possible and the men and women in the military who provide me the freedom to even become elected; arent being paid a dime.Especially,military personel,who cannot elect to go home until they get paid.Cruel and unusual punishment for people laying their lives on the line for a bunch of "Deadbeat politicians". UNBELIEVABLE!!!

    April 7, 2011 at 11:38 pm |
  8. Amir

    I think it's good what's going on. Let it start at planned parenthood. When they actually start planning parenthood and not a service for nightlife and singles. I think it's great. Cut education also untill it gets updated. Cut military also their not dropping bombs they way they used to. Noones carpet bombing. Cut all of it. Cut public srevices that includes federal services also. Have you seen the average pay across thye board in relation to population. Cut Municipalities also. It's time to INVEST in the world where you get results and NOT problems.

    April 7, 2011 at 11:37 pm |
  9. Larry

    I think it's not only a personal insult as a soldier but as a US citizen that I am expected to perform my duties and not get paid but the fat cats on the hill will still be paid. I barely make enough to feed my family of five now. I wonder what would happen if we as soldiers refused to work for free. Would the fat cats come do our jobs since they are the only ones getting paid?
    I will say it here and now if I am not making enough to pay my bills and feed my family then I will get a civillian job until I do get paid. think about it!

    April 7, 2011 at 11:32 pm |
  10. Rhonda Cash

    I am the wife of a US Army soldier currently stationed in Alaska at Ft. Wainwright. I am so frustrated that President Obama and the leaders in Washington can not come to an agreement and that the Federal Workers to include our men and women in the military have to be the PAWN in their game of chess! We have 4,000 soldiers ready to deploy in the next few days, not to mention 2 battalions that have already gone. Fairbanks, Alaska can not shoulder the burden of these military families that are being tossed around like chips on a poker table and we all wonder if we are feeling lucky tonight! Who is going to feed these families, pay their bills, fight the mortgage companies and credit card companies when they become delinquient on their bills. Lets not forget the medical services, tax refunds, GI Bill funding for the many spouses and children of military dependants who rely on these funds WHICH BY THE WAY ARE WORKED HARD FOR!!! The military families sacrifice every single day with sending our loved ones to wars! I would think that if the TEA PARTY, PRESIDENT OBAMA OR the REPUBLICAN Presidental candidates would JUMP at the chance to be the HERO here and NOT THE LOSER!!!! And yet.... the illegals will get welfare and entitlements, the leaders in Washington will all be paid, while the very people who fight for the freedoms that they all enjoy.... How the hell do they all sleep at night???? Unbelievable!!!!

    April 7, 2011 at 11:31 pm |
  11. Kelly

    I am an army wife. This is outrageous! Cut the budgets of the men and women who sacrafice everything to protect our freedoms everyday. Many military families survive wholly or largely on one income ... if a soldier doesn't have food to eat how can he be expected to do his job well??? I say we ship the congress to the front lines ... at least then our soldiers could be home with the ones they love most.

    April 7, 2011 at 11:24 pm |
  12. Tasha Cotton

    really though we are going to pay people to sit on their butts while our government decides when it want to go on vacation and shut everything down, well my feeling is that if the government is going to shut down, then during that time frame until an agreement is reached that will help everyone, we should top paying taxes to people to sit around and do nothing, if I do not go to work I do not get paid why should they

    April 7, 2011 at 11:23 pm |
  13. Manolo Fogg


    What our government is very good at is putting on great dog and pony shows. And we americans loves our dog and pony shows.

    April 7, 2011 at 11:16 pm |
  14. Ron Hurtado

    I'm totally disgusted with the people on the Hill with their put off today what you can do tomarrow attitude. Its obvious they are overpaid spoiled rich little brats that probably got other people to do their homework for them in school. So now, all grown up, when they have a project that needs to be done it turns into the old midnight oiler. To think they will continue to get paid even if the Gov. shuts down doesn't surprise me one bit, their used to getting paid for nothing.

    April 7, 2011 at 11:15 pm |
  15. polly Furman-Gooden

    I feel that if we have a shutdown,our soldiers should come home.Their pay is not much, but while at war, with no pay, their wives and kids will not have food and cannot pay bills.Perhaps our Sen. and Congress would like to go to the mideast wars and fight, and let our soldiers have Their pay.

    April 7, 2011 at 11:13 pm |
  16. DG

    I dont think its fair that they're gonna get to vacation on the yachts while and their spouses(not to mention their cilvian support team shold have to play second fiddle because of a group of men and women that we voted into office cant do what we voted them in in there to do. This country needs an enema!

    April 7, 2011 at 10:55 pm |
  17. Marne K.

    In any profession, pay is commesurate with experience and performance. If congress is not doing their job, perhaps THEIR pay should be suspended. Suspending one week's pay for each member of Congress could amount to an astronomical savings. As a wife of a Soldier and government employee myself, I find it appalling that they would consider suspending troops' pay as even a last resort. Perhaps the country's focus is too consumed in foreign interests to rectify it's own domestic issues.

    April 7, 2011 at 10:47 pm |
  18. Mary

    I agree that if some federal workers aren't getting paid, congress shouldn't either. Even if the constitution madates that congressional salaries can't be withheld, I bet they could still vote themselves a pay decrease. I notice nobody is volunteering to do that.

    April 7, 2011 at 10:44 pm |
  19. "HOLO"

    I'm a federal employee and have been watching this since last year. We've been on "CR" since last year. I blame both sides. Dems should have taken care of this before mid-term elections before the Tea Party goombahs took office. Seems now the deal is held up because of greenhouse gases and abortion...IDEOLOGY!!! Thank you politicians for ruining our lives.

    April 7, 2011 at 10:41 pm |
  20. Maria

    If it's in the US Constitution to pay congress and the president at all times, where is it in the Constitution that we have to pay them hundreds of thousands of dollars? Why can't we pay them minimum wage during a shutdown? They can afford it more so than average Americans who live paycheck to paycheck and are struggling to forgo forclosure on their only residence!!!

    April 7, 2011 at 10:30 pm |
  21. Travis Dziema

    Something must be done about our budget now. The spending must stop now before it is too late: we are already in a very serious situation.
    If the general public(both private and public sector)needs to make cuts and some programs will need to be cut(the fat needs to be trimmed NOW)
    then why can't Congress take some cuts? Why are they getting pay raises and cost of living raises, special health care, etc. Why are they going to get a pay check if the government shuts down?
    When is the special treatment for our Congress going to stop? They need to be treated like any other worker in the United States.

    April 7, 2011 at 10:28 pm |
  22. T.E

    This is an absolute outrage and I can’t believe that our congress members rather shut the government down for their own political gain instead of doing what’s right for the American people. This has nothing to do with spending but the power that the Republicans are holding right now. Politics need to be put to the side. This is an embarrassment to our country. For tea party members to protest and shout “shut it down” is sending the wrong message to our enemies.

    April 7, 2011 at 10:25 pm |
  23. Linda

    If the Republicans are so concerned about deficits, then why in the heck did they insist on continuing Bush's tax breaks for the wealthy? That alone added another $300 billion to our deficit!!!!

    April 7, 2011 at 10:24 pm |
  24. Linda Buchanan

    This is the same ol same ol- the rich get richer! You can bet your bottom dollar that
    if Washington was not getting paid we would not be having this discussion right now at all!
    And oh this looks just great as a Super Power- NOT! Come on no government shutdown! Or when it come to election day, I`ll vote those involved out of office!

    April 7, 2011 at 10:17 pm |
  25. Doug

    I have a hard time believing a COngresswoman went on record saying she needed the money to cover her bills. You mean to tell me her bills are more important that mine? I'm in the military. I was going to retire but was made to move by the Army. Fine, I got it good. I have a house that I had lived in for two years, my retirement house. Now I have to pay rent in another location and worry about feeding my kids. All of whom are under the age of 10. They will not understand why daddy can't by food to feed them. Thanks for nothing Congressional Morons.

    April 7, 2011 at 10:10 pm |
  26. K T Eilers

    These members of congress are absolutely positively the same as the bankers who took down wall street and then expected to be compensated because they are really the only ones who know how it all works. When oh when will we dump the best and vote in the least?

    April 7, 2011 at 9:58 pm |
  27. Kellie

    Torques my jaw! Lock the doors on the place; put them in their rooms until they can come to an agreement. When they get hungry enough, they will sing for their supper. As single Mom, doing what-ever it takes to get your kids through college, how disappointing for my daughter landing a 'secure Federal Gov't job'; only to realize a pay freeze, while still being expected to pay student loans that are well above today's interest rates; pay her own living expenses to live independently. Now, she's supposed to do that without a paycheck? We need to take a page out of Egypt's playbook.

    April 7, 2011 at 9:48 pm |
  28. Paul Lowe

    Since the senate can't come up with a solution, then why don't they let the American people decide what the budget should be. After all, it is our money anyway.

    April 7, 2011 at 9:43 pm |
  29. W, Warren

    Why are we, the American people, not protesting?
    I think Congresses all expenses paid and a salary to boot should be voted on by the American people! I'd be surprised my son a Petty Officer in the Navy is not rethinking his dedication and love of country. He now sees we are all expendable. Maybe next fight they'll all just lay their weapons down and walk away just as you turned your backs on them! WAKE UP CONGRESS MEN AND WOMEN YOUR LOSING YOUR MOST VALUABLE ASSET THE VOTERS WHO PUT YOU THERE!

    April 7, 2011 at 9:42 pm |
  30. KM

    As a federal employee I find this very frustrating. Since October 1 I have been tucking money away in anticipation of a furlough at some point. I think the biggest slap in face of all of this is some Congressmen and Congresswomen are looking to not retro pay us for the furlough. So basically we are going to suffer at their hands because no one can seem to get along, yet they will still be paid.

    April 7, 2011 at 9:41 pm |
  31. susan

    In the late 1960's, My dad predicted our country would be in the dire straits we find ourselves. All of us bear some responsibility. We need to learn that the bills don't pay themselves. That being said, our elected officials are very arrogant. They posture, turned our country into a socialist country and fail to "play well with the others." They don't care who gets hurt after all they will still get their pay. There needs to be a bill that keeps the elected officials from being paid if this situation occurs. Oh – wait – they would not pass such a thing!

    April 7, 2011 at 9:35 pm |
  32. Melissa C.

    "Many federal workers, and even U.S. troops, would stop getting paid. But get this: the members of Congress who got us into this mess would still get their paychecks."

    This is so sickeningly wrong on so many levels that there are no words to convey the sheer anger and utter disgust that I feel toward every member of Congress and politicians in general. These people are horrible, miserable, amoral excuses for human flesh and have absolutely no empathy, sympathy, compassion or understanding for the people they are about to devastate financially. They have no souls.

    And, if they think that we (the REAL Americans) are stupid enough to believe that servicemembers are actually going to get the pay due them after this catastrophe is over, they are mistaken. We KNOW that servicemembers will never see a dime of the money they EARNED during this "shutdown" once Congress decides to actually do the job WE PAY THEM to do and "open back up for business".

    This is a slap in the face and a knife in the back to every single person who has served/is serving our country and the families who support(ed) them.

    Thank you, Congress, for absolutely nothing. And thank you, too, Mr. President, for the same.

    April 7, 2011 at 9:27 pm |
  33. Denice DePaolo-Smith

    The disparaty between lawmakers and "We the People" continues to grow. Their pay should be with-held until they get a grip on reality & what "We the people" feel! Shame on them for their blindness! I question their REAL intent. Ryan wants mandatory selection of private healthcare co. by Medicare recipients. How does that differ from what they & he is whining about in the Obama plan? Thankfully, he's from Wisconsin & his days are most probably numbered! Congress should also go payless for the duration of their grand delusion! Shame on Congress! They WILL be held accountable for their action or inaction. The bulk of "We the People" are just fed up with their egotistical and partisan antics.

    April 7, 2011 at 9:24 pm |
  34. Annie Kate

    I agree with that sentiment! Its not only like paying the arsonists but also sending them a new supply of matches so they can stay in business. Perhaps the law needs changed so that Congress is the first ones to lose their pay in a shutdown. That might give them more incentive to heed the better angels of their nature and do right by the American people who trusted them enough to elect them. Our country and our people deserve better than what the Congress is giving us currently.

    It's a shame that the air strikes killed some of the people we are actually trying to help. I hope that the struggle in Libya is over soon and Gadhafi gone. I fear that it will be over and Gadhafi will still be in power. He's detestable now; just think how bad he will be if he wins. I fear for the innocent Libyans if he does.

    Looking forward to the show.

    April 7, 2011 at 9:20 pm |
  35. VY

    Of course, there's isn't any fear on behalf of congress for any "government shutdown" true they are still getting paid as usual (BS-ing how they are so concern). Once again, the american people are being SCREWED by the government. Welcome to politics!

    April 7, 2011 at 9:18 pm |