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April 7th, 2011
11:30 PM ET
soundoff (39 Responses)
  1. Linda Lucree

    It's really surprising to me that this suggestion has not been raised yet !

    These congressmen (ESPECIALLY the radical right-wingers,aka tea partiers, etc.) are SCREAMING for the rest of of us to sacrifice benefits & services that we, the middle class & other struggling Americans, have worked long and hard for. Yet, WHAT THEY ARE ASKING OF US, DOES NOT APPLY TO THEM ! WHY HAVE WE ALLOWED THIS TO HAPPEN ? Over the years, they have given themselves raises whenever they chose to do so ( a luxury none of the rest of us have had !)

    I think it is time for these "righteous" congressmen to do the RIGHT & HONORABLE thing, to show RESPECT for the American people they have been elected to serve, and agree to

    GIVE BACK or RELINQUISH 10% of THEIR PAYCHECK
    to show solidarity with the rest of us !!!

    They still have their very generous benefits , (which many of us have lost).
    THIS MONEY WOULD GO TO REDUCING THE BUDGET DEFICIT !

    It's time for these Senators & Representatives
    to show good character & RESPECT for the people who put them there !

    April 9, 2011 at 12:41 am |
  2. sara

    You have got to be joking! The Congress that wants to make cuts is not willing to take a cut in salary and on top of that now you are telling me they also get paid when no one else does????? What is wrong with this picture? Maybe we need to do away with the Republican Party and Democratic Party so they will quit fighting each other and fight for the good of our country.

    April 9, 2011 at 12:31 am |
  3. Shirley

    You guys keep talking about the congressmen patting themselves on the back for getting the budget agreed upon at the last minute. As far as I'm concerned.... they FINALLY got it done 6+ months LATE. It should have been in place and all done with on Oct. 1, 2010!
    Any other worker in the USA would have been FIRED months ago if they hadn't gotten a part of their jobs done on time.

    April 9, 2011 at 12:11 am |
  4. will

    iam a nuteral party but we need to start taxing the millionairs. other words stop there tax cuts and start taxing them they have that amount sitting in there houses, cars, movies, songs, clothes, so they can be taxed and still be able to live, and it will help every one. i work 2 jobs and i can barely pay all of my bills, i cant work 3 or 4 jobs to make a living. so what will the rest of the United States families do there are barely enough jobs out there do to the ecommity and plus the price of gas going up, so the the rest of us need the tax cuts

    April 8, 2011 at 11:51 pm |
  5. Dewayne

    If they're not working, they shouldn't get paid! Don't they realize that a LOT of people can't do without a paycheck??? What the heck are they doing up there in D.C.??? What about a pay CUT for some of them so called lawmakers? Why are they cutting Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare, Education, and expecting everyone of us commonfolk to cinch OUR belts a notch tighter? Why was the Bush era tax cuts extended, didn't that cost about $750 billion dollars?

    April 8, 2011 at 10:29 pm |
  6. Amanda Parmer

    "Congressmen who willfully take action during wartime that damages morale and undermine the Military are saboteurs and should be arrested, exiled, or hung"
    — Abraham Lincoln

    April 8, 2011 at 9:41 pm |
  7. KazuhideKuwahara

    This scenatio has been predicted by all around the countries that could intentionally step down the president Obama.

    April 8, 2011 at 8:45 pm |
  8. Frank C from Santa Barbara

    Frank C. from Santa Barbara

    My daughter and I are getting on a plane in Santa Barbara, CA in less than four hours and will be in New York by morning primarily to visit the Statue of Liberty for which we purchased tickets to the Crown four months ago. She even has the following essay problem from her fourth grade teacher: 1. Write a two page essay describing why there is a statue of a “Mighty Woman With a Torch” sitting on an island in New York Harbor and describe what the Statue of Liberty may have meant to those people wishing to become Americans that passed by her on their way to Ellis island.

    Your essay should include not only a brief section on the statues history but your thoughts on what this “mighty woman” cried out with her silent lips and what her presence and her words meant for immigrants coming to America through Ellis Island. Bonus question-Who is Emma Lazarus?

    I sincerely hope that the civics lesson she gets in the next few days will be one that stand for America the Great rather than America the divided. This budget crises should be about spending and not about partisan social issues. Of course, my anxiety is not remotely close to military families wondering if they will have money to pay rent and bills but I have been planning on an educational trip for my daughter for which she must think about America and its history. I'll report later on whether she becomes a Democrat like her mom or a moderate Republican like me. If it is the former, she may have had good reason. I believe Reagan would have compromised by now for the good of the country and waited to take up social issues in a proper forum. Do you think Reagan would have been embarrassed by this failure to compromise?

    April 8, 2011 at 8:27 pm |
  9. Lisa

    I am the wife of a severely injured vet and have friends and family that are active duty Army. I would like to share something I posted on my facebook page-

    Hoping the absence of outrage I am seeing from too many people in this country is due to disbelief that the govt. shutdown will happen and not due to total lack of respect and concern for the very people who keep us safe. And where is the outrage for a Commander in Chief who will still collect his pay while suspending the pay of his armed forces? If I hear one more person compare the importance of the DMV worker with the soldier on the front lines I will vomit! Here's the thing folks-everyone in this country knows that if a soldier walks out because he is not being paid he will be facing court martial as a deserter. If he is deployed and puts down his gun he will die. Last I heard DMV workers and other govt. workers here in our country did not spend years at a time away from their families, being shot at and dodging IED's only to return home to a nation divided on almost every issue. Everyone feels pretty secure that our men and woman in uniform will continue to protect us no matter what. Even if they lose their homes etc. And for people who think the troops will be taken care of with back pay when the govt. reopens WAKE UP! DFAS doesn't pay soldiers properly all the time when the govt. is open for business. Every single one of my military friends have had or know someone who has had a "no pay due" at least once. This means the govt. does not send the soldier his pay and tells him he is not due any pay when in fact he is. When the soldier contacts DFAS he is told they must investigate, only to be told days to weeks later that it is a "mistake". The average time for this "mistake" to be corrected is SIX MONTHS. With the amount of soldiers in all of the armed forces that will be effected how long do you think it will take the government to process all of the back pay? Meanwhile banks still want their mortgage payments,utility companies still want to be paid and it is a fact that the majority of soldiers and families already live below the poverty line. And if this doesn't convince people that we are facing a serious problem think about this- Even if the govt does stop this insanity what do you think this country has done to the moral of the people we depend on to defend our freedom, protect our borders,and protect and defend democracy around the world? And for the American people who still don't see why we should care- I ask you to imagine this. If the worst does happen and the already over stressed,over worked, under paid, and under appreciated Soldiers,Sailors,Airmen,and Marines somehow come together and decide to walk- then the same terrorists that attacked us on our own soil on Sept. 11 decide to do it again ten fold- who will the American people be crying out for? Somehow I don't think it will be the lady that takes our pictures at the Division of Motor Vehicles. But she may be the only one responding.

    April 8, 2011 at 7:52 pm |
  10. Otis

    Dock the pay of Congress double and watch how fast they make a deal. Wait, they write the laws so they guaranteed themselves a hefty pay check for doing eveil to the nation. ps. Although I voted against Obama, I blame the Reppublicans who are behaving like spoiled brats!

    April 8, 2011 at 6:48 pm |
  11. Ako

    i wonder if irs agents will still get paid while our troops and their families go without, if this shutdown occurs.

    April 8, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
  12. Ralph Curry, Jr.

    What in GOD'S Holy Name is this mess about a government shutdown! That does not sound "AMERCIAN", land of the free, & home of the brave! Sounds like dictatorship instead of democracy! You mean to tell me that I served in the U.S. Army, & in war as the history of others who have served, is serving, & will serve in our Armed Forces because a bunch of "so-called" political "winnies", who will be receiving an income, are acting like a bunch of kids playing musical chair can't agree that the finance & benefits that will care for the whole United States of America's is unable to agree? How many in Congress served their country in the military? How many are nothing but draft dodgers, 70's hippies, & geeks who never could lead a fork to feed their mouths, stand in the position that affects me, my family, our health problems, and etc., concerned about themselves & theirs? They are public servants who promised things to help American! To me, this is a prime example of the show "American Greed", damn to hell the people that trusted these winnies to lead in truth. Mr. President Obama, you are the Commander-in-Chief! HELP US! Congress & House, you don't own us, we have freedom of speech to tell you mental involents you are wrong to quit your job, with pay, & cause America to suffer. This is idiotic, idiots! I am upset with my government because they are not truthful men & women, but they are selfish!

    April 8, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
  13. roy evans

    My friend is in the army... he just posted on our forum that he only got paid one week's pay.

    Here's his post:
    Well i got my pay stub. Yep i am only getting half of my pay on the 15th. I am getting paid for only 1-8th cause even if they strike a deal it will not go in effect till after our pay is set to hit banks.

    I am deployed as most know and this really just pisses me off. Are you freaking serious...We still paying welfare, the government and other stupid stuff but not deployed soldiers.

    Oh and this isnt just me its our whole military service. State side and overseas.

    April 8, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
  14. Barb

    With the questionable shutdown, why take money from the military soldiers and family, isn't there any Man or Woman in Congress or even the President willing to take a cut in pay! I hear so much about cutting back on the American People, haven't we given up enough already? I thought the government employees, ie as Congress, Senators, and even the president were working for us, the people. With elections coming soon, maybe we need to do some cleaning up.

    April 8, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
  15. Jim Shale

    Today, Erick, my son-in-law, was promoted to Captain. However, all our military people are worried whether they will be paid next week. I wonder if the senate and house members are worried about their paychecks!!

    Perhaps for the first time I am ashamed of our government.

    Jim

    April 8, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
  16. Sherri

    I am completely disgusted with the politicians who are suppose to be for Americans. My husband is currently deployed to Afghanistan and he will continue to fight and protect Americans freedom while not getting paid. He doesn't have the choice to put down his gun tomorrow. He either fights or gets killed. For the members of the government who think this shutdown is a "good" idea...shame on them. My bills due this month get paid from my husbands hard work but because he's not paid, they don't get paid? If it was only that easy to tell companies I'll pay you when I can. Then it effects your credit score and as on. This is not the way to treat those Americans who fight for the freedoms given to you and me while you comfortable sit in your warm homes with the bills paid.

    April 8, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
  17. charles brown

    last night you was speaking about the shutdown with (R) lady, forgot her name, anyway i dont know if im the only one who caught it, but she stated @ one point that (WE) meaning the rep., just put troop one the ground in Libya. Did you catch that? My understanding is that the U.S will not put U.S troops on the grond. So did she put her foot in her mouth by saying something that the american people is not siuppost to know?

    April 8, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
  18. kevin moore

    Of course congress will be paid.... they do all the hard work. They deploy 12 to 18 months at a time, they miss their childs birth, they take care of troops blown up IEDs, they don't get to see their families unless they go on leave and they live off of 28000 dollars a year. Of course Congress deserves to get paid. This is just ridiculous.

    April 8, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
  19. Nancy Ramey

    The entire Congress needs to be arrested, charged with kidnapping and terroristic threats, then jailed for life for creating and propagating problems to hold our entire nation hostage. This would be just a small beginning to restore and revive what we started out with so many years ago. Criminals weren't running things back then. What the people said and needed used to mean something.

    April 8, 2011 at 1:09 pm |
  20. Nate

    I am really glad that Congress and the President still gets paid at least they are taken care of and can still feed their families.. It seems like our policy makers are more and more concerned about themselves and what they can get out of the government. what about the common person trying to make it in life and depends on their paychecks. If I didn't know any better I would think that I am in the middle east because thats exactly what they do they are corrupt and and do not think about their constituents. I am a soldier and now that I am not getting paid my full check because two people can't agree on abortion is just pitiful GROW UP people. sure wish I could feed my family and pay my bills!!!

    April 8, 2011 at 12:46 pm |
  21. Julie Martin

    That's it – I HAVE HAD IT! If I don't do my job, I don't yet paid. How is it that Congress fails to pass a budget and still gets paid for their inability to accomplish what we pay them to do? And after all the sacrifice that our soldiers make, we dock their pay? What is happening to our country? I don't even recognize us anymore.

    April 8, 2011 at 12:26 pm |
  22. Rosette Renaud

    I maybe practical but does it not make sense to take care of the United States citizens only until we get on our feet economically. My solution l. First cut off all foreign aide,
    2. tax the rich at least 75%
    3. Get the money back from those who cheating with the stock market.
    4. Congress and Senate should not get paid until the country is back to where it needs to be! When the family budget is in trouble everyone should tighten their belt but stop going after the poor.

    April 8, 2011 at 12:18 pm |
  23. Rex

    Excellent Top Notch reporting Anderson. Similar dilema is happening in Alabama when lawmakers got a 61 per cent pay increase while teachers are only getting an increase in the amount they have to pay for benefits, and not to mention, no classroom money for them.

    April 8, 2011 at 12:17 pm |
  24. Chad

    It figures. Rich stay rich while the public/private workforce take the hit. Maybe if Congress stood to lose in a shutdown; their mindsets would change.

    I'm an independent. I see the Tea Party as the problem. Repub's & Dem's were working on compromise at one point. What happened? Rep. Boehner appeared to compromise that included spending cuts. He backs off after Tea Party complains. Tea Party is mistaken if they think this approach will fix the deficit.

    Callous comments by Tea Party members -"cut it or shut it" and "shut er down"- leaves no doubt in my mind who the true obstructionists are. They are playing with peoples livelihoods. After all this, I would never vote for any Tea Party backed candidate.

    April 8, 2011 at 11:09 am |
  25. Scott Hall

    What the Hell is Congress & the Senate doing, have they never heard of the fondation of the USA & humanity . Its Called (Conscious of Liberty) Holy Blank itdee Blank

    April 8, 2011 at 11:08 am |
  26. RJ Seuling

    Mr Cooper,I saw your report that the elected lawmakers will still get paid if the govt shuts down.I believe that they should set up folding chairs and tables on the MAll PLAY GROUND to not do there jobs and shut down the capital building!!!

    April 8, 2011 at 10:14 am |
  27. Ken in NC

    Anderson,
    You made a comment about the Speaker of the House slipping with the comment that members of Congress would not get paid and he did slip and was wrong but you also slipped in your claim they attempted to attach an amendment to a bill to prevent them from being paid. This is a indeed a "Catch 22" as you rightfully stated but not for the reason so stated. The 27th Amendment of the Constitution states that:

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

    So the members of Congress could introduce and pass such a bill, the Senate could also vote to pass it and the President could sign it in to law, however it would not take effect until the next Congress convenes after an election which in this case will be in November of 2012. The sad thing is that the majority of the members of the House knew this and yet they still attempted to do it. To borrow a term from the Speaker of the House, their actions simply were all "Smoking and Mirrors" for the unknowing public. Just another sign of how Congress is playing the American public because most Americans do not know this.

    April 8, 2011 at 10:06 am |
  28. alison weinberg

    If we are keeping them honest, why not let the public know the health insurance benefits that our congressional representatives enjoy. If they want to cut medicare the they should have the same coverage as the majority of Americans.Privatizing Medicare and paying the insurance companies is not the way to go. We should have a single payer. Look at the medicare advantage programs, the cost the government more and the insurance companies receive supplements. Why not do an in depth report? If congress wants to cut then let them cut their benefits too.

    April 8, 2011 at 9:57 am |
  29. Mary

    I think I just fell in love with Anderson Cooper. He tells it like it is with regard to the federal shutdown, how "real" people (not millionaires on Capitol Hill) will be affected. I hope this goes viral on YouTube. Thank you Anderson for giving a crap about us.

    April 8, 2011 at 9:18 am |
  30. Bryan

    I'm in the air force, and I don't see how this is at all fair, and why the government keeps getting paid, not its employes, when they are the ones that failed to come together as a country. As a leadership, they failed us. They need to stop playing political games and think about the american lives being effected...

    April 8, 2011 at 4:51 am |
  31. Robert

    I worked for the government. I made 50,000 a year as a gs 11. I also payed insurance preimiums. So im not sure were these idiots are getting an average fed worker makes 100k. Congress is a bunch of liers or lawyers same thing in my book. they should reduce their wages as well. Also congress should be looked at carefully to see if they even deserve their job. Of and regular government employees PAY TAXES also. Im not sure what congress pays. And the rich paying less taxes was voted by congress and alot of them are very rich. They dont just get their pay checks they get money from oil, and other companies. We should fire every last one of them. Both parties are at fault for this. Evan our lazy Pres..

    April 8, 2011 at 4:27 am |
  32. Betty Zenger

    I think pay they would receive should not be given to the congressmen and women, but to service people. Put congress in a locked room with no food or water until they balance the budget. Send them to their home state with a sign saying these are the dummies we voted to represent us. Send Palin and her tea cronies back to Alaska to hibernate for next 20 yeas. I think US.,Britian and France should take over bombing and give weapons to rebels in Lybia until they run off dictator and Get the young woman that was abused out of there before they kill her.

    April 8, 2011 at 3:44 am |
  33. lawrence B

    HOW MANY SIGNATURES DO WE NEED TO FIRE THE ENTIRE CONGRESS???
    Well these BABIES are arguing about 33 billion and something like 50 Billion in cash was lost in IRAQ 'went missing' and no news story about that, and how about the nearly 1 trillion we give to other countries every year in aid, that by the way their leaders just embezzle for military equipment to kill their own people, and the Billions we give to oil companies in subsidies, why do they need subsidies its the wealthiest business in the world, your all sad, really sad. P.S. If we all paid taxes then we "WOULD" all be equal.

    April 8, 2011 at 3:19 am |
  34. Lisa Horton

    Oh and if they want to cut the budget, They Can Start with themselves! Make the Rick and Big Business pay their fair fair share. And They should have to pay!!!!! Not cut the programs the American People need, Due to Their Tax Cuts and Bonuses for the rich and Big Business! It is Past Time That those People Pay! BTW!!!!!!!!!!

    I am a Disabled woman who was almost beaten to death by a man , who received one day in jail, and a five hundred dollar fine. For what he did. I get life on disability and Pain. But Those doing the budget cutting Could Care less about me, or about anyone else! Thanks Congress!!!!!! I Pray that what has befallen me, befalls you in spades!

    April 8, 2011 at 2:53 am |
  35. Lisa Horton

    Look if We The People, Who elected the rich people who refuse to listen to US! (That is the United States People) Would Pay their fair share of Taxes, I believe Forty percent is fair....And We The People Of the United States of America made them Vote as we wanted; Not the way they want . Perhaps this country would be better off. They need to bring back the jobs, and the unions, But let us be honest The Rich people won't do this. Then we the people might have a chance. Not be slaves! Mark my words. If this keeps up There will be no fair or equal United States Constitution! There will be those who follow what they are told, and them. Either the rich and big business Are made to pay their fair share. Or I hate to be Blunt. The United States is Screwed!

    April 8, 2011 at 2:44 am |
  36. lawrence B

    Well these idiots are arguing about 33 billion and something like 50 Billion in cash was lost in IRAQ "nobody knows where it went nice huh" and no news story about that, and how about the nearly 1 trillion we give to other countries every year in aid, that by the way their leaders just embezzle for military equipment to kill their own people, and the Billions we give to oil companies in subsidies, why do they need subsidies its the wealthiest business in the world, your all sad, really sad. P.S. If we all paid taxes then we "WOULD" all be equal.

    April 8, 2011 at 2:37 am |
  37. Pat

    All this talk about compromising is a joke! Dems should have passed a bill last year. Also is this something like the compromise Dems did with Rep over the healthcare bill that was done behind closed doors with backroom deals and bribes. They totally shut them out and rammed it down our throats! And the president telling Reps they'll have to get in the back seat! Different story now that they have total control!

    April 8, 2011 at 2:23 am |
  38. Patricia- Seattle

    Since the Republicans want to cut the budget and they want the middle class to carry the burden, I think it is time for congress to cut their salaries and medical benefits. As far as I can tell they are not worth the money.

    April 8, 2011 at 2:20 am |
  39. Tiffany

    Anderson, we live on a very fixed income I'm on SSI, I'm disabled, How will affect my family? Its all kinds of wrong for the goverment still to get paid.

    April 8, 2011 at 1:43 am |