Not much has changed since the government shutdown went into effect a week ago, but many disgruntled Americans are fed up with the impasse, with countless numbers taking to social media to express their displeasure on Twitter, Facebook and on petition sites such as Change.org and MoveOn.org.
One MoveOn.org petition “No pay for Congress during the shutdown” created by the Courage Campaign, should reach more than 400,000 within hours. A similarly titled MoveOn.org petition “No Pay for Congress During Shutdown” has acquired nearly 40,000 signatures.
San Francisco-based Change.org has also had its share of shutdown-related petitions, in particular the National Treasury Employees Union petitioning the U. S. Senate, “We Want to Work! End the Government Shutdown!”, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) petition: Shut Down the Tea Party, Not Our Government" and from Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good petitioning John Boehner “Speaker of the House John Boehner: End the government shutdown immediately.”
Other petitions gathering interest from angry Americans include a petition from care2 “Demand A Pay Freeze For Congress During Government Shutdown” with nearly 65,000 signatures and the DCCC telling John Boehner “Shut Down the Government and We Will Shut Down Your Majority!”
But it is the Courage Campaign’s petition that’s getting the most attention. Here is the official statement from the "No pay for Congress during shutdown"petition.
“I demand that members of Congress NOT get paid during a self-inflicted government shutdown. It is morally reprehensible that hardworking federal employees will stop receiving the paychecks they need to feed their families and pay their mortgages, while Congress still gets paid for refusing to do the job they were elected to do.”
When asked if they would give up their salaries during the government shutdown, some members of Congress such as Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.) and Rep. Lee Terry (R-Neb.) have refused, with Terry telling the Omaha World-Herald Bureau “I’ve got a nice house and a kid in college, and I’ll tell you we cannot handle it. Giving our paycheck away when you still worked and earned it? That’s just not going to fly. After a deluge of criticism against the Nebraskan congressman, Lee Terry apologized, saying “I’m ashamed of my comments. It was not leadership.”
Since the government shutdown, over 100 Democratic and Republican congress members have said they would refuse pay, including Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). But given the public's widespread anger, it's pretty clear most Americans would prefer all politicians should refuse their salaries. Consumer confidence is also taking a beating and U.S. stock market fell once again today.
The most recent polls taken from the public appear to indicate approval of Congress has nearly reached an all time low, with Real Clear Politics and Fox News showing an 81 percent disapproval rating, CNN/Opinion Research with at 87 percent and CBS News/NY Times at 80 percent.