While Congress Still Gets Paycheck: 800,000 Without Pay, Economy Could Lose $55 Billion In Weeks To Come

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

The shutdown is expected to cost the federal government over $2 billion, if it resembles the 27-day shutdown from 1995 to 1996. A three or four-week shutdown could cost the economy $55 billion, according economist Brian Kessler of Moody’s Analytics.

The '90s shutdown cost the government $1.4 billion. That’s over $2 billion today, CBS News reported. Meanwhile, the threat of a default left all markets posting a loss at the end of the day Monday. The shutdown is could easily cost the economy $1 billion per week, according to CNN.

While 800,000 government workers go without pay as of today, 533 members of Congress will continue to take home a paycheck. Members will make an average of $3,000 each by the end of this week. Congressional staff is also furloughed.

"That is disgraceful in my view," Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, told CNN. "Basically the only people who get paid in a shutdown are members of Congress and that is irresponsible."

Gabbard is refusing her pay during the shutdown and will send the money back to the Treasury.

The Constitution says that member pay must stay as-is.

Some members weren’t even aware of the rule.

"I don't even know whether it stops or not," Rep. John Fleming, R-La. While Fleming has no plans to refuse pay, he added, “we need to share the pain of the American people.”

Fox News commentator Sarah Palin appeared on Sean Hannity's show on Monday calling any concern over the shutdown "hysteria."

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich told CNN's Piers Morgan last night that a shutdown it's a big deal.

Sources: CNN, CBS News