Re: Just an idea
Even if it is "gesture politics" (although i challenge you to name any act in politics which wouldnt fit the defintion of "gesture politics"!), a policy that means Senators and Congressmen/women dont get paid whilst there's a government shutdown, would act as a strong incentive for them not to allow a government shutdown in the future. Because Senators and Congressmen/women are, by definition, greedy twats.
Hit them where it hurts, their wallets, and they wont allow that to happen again!