Now into month two of the government shutdown, THV11 viewers are reaching out with questions. Our Verify team is working to get them answered.
One viewer called the THV11 newsroom and wants to know why lawmakers are still getting paid if the government is shut down?
The answer is in the U.S. Constitution.
Article 1, Section 6 reads: The Senators and Representatives shall receive a Compensation for their Services, to be ascertained by Law, and paid out of the Treasury of the United States.
That means they are guaranteed a salary no matter what.
So, we can verify senators' and representatives' salaries are protected under the constitution and that is why they are still getting paid during the shutdown.
They can, at their own discretion, opt to not take a salary. Arkansas representative Bruce Westermann, on Wednesday, Jan. 23, announced just that.
"Although the GOP is making reasonable efforts to fund the government and pay federal employees who are working, I can't in good conscience receive my paycheck at the end of this month," Westermann said.
He asked the chief administrative officer to withhold his pay until the shutdown ends.
If you have something you want us to verify, reach out on social media or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.