Website "Congress Still Gets Paid" Counts How Much Congress Has Made Since Shutdown: $1.1 Million

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

Just how much have people in Congress made while furloughed and "essential" government workers go without pay?

The website CongressStillGetsPaid.com has been keeping track. As of noon Saturday, that amount is over $1,140,000.

The House approved back pay for workers on Saturday, but at the shutdown wears on, one has to wonder if that is enough.

Dan Sobien, president of the National Weather Service Employee Organization, told Popular Science this week that he knows of at least one employee who is nine months pregnant and has to continue working without pay or face being effectively laid off.

The Capitol Police, who Congress thanked for protecting them this week when they responded to a car chase on Thursday, are currently unpaid.

The government considers an essential employee or office to be one that "provides for the national security, including the conduct of foreign relations essential to the national security or the safety of life and property” or conducts "essential activities to the extent that they protect life and property."

These essential services include military and embassy personnel, air traffic control, emergency medical care, border patrol, federal prisons, emergency and disaster assistance, overseeing of the banking system, power grid operation, most law enforcement and federal property guards.

But right now, four days into the shutdown, they are unpaid.

“This isn’t how America is supposed to work. I remember what I felt when I took that oath. At this moment, all I feel is disappointment,” Archie Cubarrubia, a furloughed education research analyst at the Department of Education and a naturalized citizen of the U.S., told New York Magazine.

“Being furloughed is tough but worth it if the Congress is trying to hold hostage health insurance for people that can’t afford it. When did we stop caring about people?” asked furloughed financial management analyst Norm Williams, “When did how much money we make become more important than our fellow man?”

President Barack Obama made an address Saturday asking House Republicans to allow an up-or-down vote on a clean budget bill.

"There's only one way out of this reckless and damaging shutdown: pass a budget that funds our government, with no partisan strings attached," Obama said. "But the far right of the Republican Party won't let Speaker John Boehner give that bill a yes-or-no vote."

"Take that vote. Stop this farce. End this shutdown now,” the president said.

Sources: IBT, CBS News, New York Magazine, Washington Post