"The constitution prohibits any change of members of congress pay during their term — it requires that they get paid," Bishop told Patch on Tuesday morning as numerous Long Island Federal employees were receiving calls that they won't be getting a paycheck.
Bishop pointed to the 27th amendment, which was adopted in 1992, reading the words, "No law, varying the compensation for the services of the senators and representatives, shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened."
In addition, Bishop said, "The president declared that Congress members are central employees."
That doesn't mean Bishop is not empathetic to those who are being furloughed.
"I think everyone should get paid to do the job that they were hired to do," he said. "This is an avoidable crisis."
Bishop, a Democrat, pointed to Republicans, stating that they are using extortionist tactics to get what they want.
"We have already compromised with the Republicans, accepting the number they want — $986 billion. But because they said no, cuts will continue making it difficult for Federal agencies to do their job and serve the people."
But while the Constitution states Congressman should get paid, many locals feels otherwise.
On Patch's Suffolk County Facebook pages, residents wrote the following statements:
- "If the gov't shuts down they should be the first ones furloughed. It was their fault."
- "Why should they get paid? Are they really that important?"
- "Wrong .. Wrong ... Wrong! They should be ashamed of themselves!"
- "It's disgusting."
- "Our congress is NOT necessary, they are useless."
- "This shutdown is tantamount to walking off the job. It is a disgrace and so are all politicians. Not much to say beyond this."