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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 1/6/19

Virginia Congresswomen (and More) Refuse Pay During Shutdown

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Elaine Luria - Ballotpedia
Elaine Luria - Ballotpedia
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I'm proud that my Congresswoman, Elaine Luria, (VA-2nd District) posted this letter on Facebook which she wrote to Philip G Kiko, Chief Administrative Officer of the House:

Jan. 2, 2019

Mr. Kiko,

I understand that despite a lapse of appropriations and the current partial government shutdown, under current law, Members of Congress will continue to receive their salary.

As a 20 year Navy veteran with firsthand knowledge of how government shutdowns threaten our military preparedness and readiness, I do not believe it is fair or appropriate for Members of Congress to continue to receive their paychecks while federal employees and their families suffer.

I ask that you withhold my pay until all federal employees have been made whole and the critical work they do is funded.


Congresswoman-elect Elaine Luria

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Abigail Spanberger, Congresswoman from Virginia's 7th District also requested to have her paycheck withheld.

I'm so proud of these newly sworn in Congresswomen for taking this's a very good sign!

Abigail Spanberger, official 116th Congress photo portrait
Abigail Spanberger, official 116th Congress photo portrait
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According to RollCall, these additional Congress members are refusing or donating their paychecks:

  • Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-CT: donating to Homes For The Brave, which provides housing for the homeless.
  • Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-HI is donating her salary to Hawaii's food banks.
  • Sen. John Hoeven, R-ND is donating his salary to the North Dakota National Guard Foundation.
  • Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-NV donating her salary to Nevada charities.
  • Sen. Jacky Rosen, D-NV: Rosen d onating her salary to state organizations "aimed at helping survivors of sexual and domestic violence."
  • Sen. Tina Smith, D-MN is donating her salary to The Advocates for Human Rights .
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-MA is donating her salary to a nonprofit that helps refugees.
  • Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-FL will donate the sum of his deferred salary to charity.
  • Rep. Don Bacon, R- Nebraska: "Fairness and decency dictates that my pay also be withheld," Bacon wrote in his letter to the House administrator.
  • Rep. Susan Brooks, R-Indiana: "I submitted a letter this morning requesting my pay be withheld for the duration of the shutdown," Brooks tweeted the day after the shutdown began.
  • Rep. Liz Cheney, R-WY asked her salary be withheld.
  • Rep. Angie Craig, D-MN said "I would not be accepting pay during this or any future shutdown.
  • Rep. Adriano Espaillat, D-NY pledged to forgo his salary.
  • Rep. Dwight Evans, D-PA said "I'm asking the House to withhold my salary until federal workers receive their hard-earned [money]!"
  • Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, R-PA promised to send his paycheck back to the U.S. Treasury and also reintroduced a constitutional amendment on Thursday aimed at preventing members of Congress from being paid if it fails to pass a budget. The effort would "dock pay for time without a budget as opposed to simply putting member salaries in escrow until end of term," a spokesman said.
  • Rep. Greg Gianforte, R-MT wrote a letter requesting that his pay be withheld.
  • Rep. Kevin Hern, R-OK is donating his salary to veterans' groups.
  • Rep. French Hill, R-AK wrote a letter to the House administrator asking his pay be withheld.
  • Rep. George Holding, R-NC tweeted "I will not be accepting any pay for the duration of the government shutdown."
  • Rep. Will Hurd, R-TX said "I also plan to ask that my salary be withheld while we work to restore government funding."
  • Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-NC submitted a letter asking that her pay be suspended until an appropriations agreement takes effect.
  • Rep. David Joyce, R-Ohio: "If Congress can't keep the government fully operational, we shouldn't get paid. It's that simple," Joyce said in a tweet.
  • Rep. Susie Lee, D-N said. I will not take a paycheck, and will continue to refuse my pay until the hardworking men and women across the country get theirs."
  • Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, D-NY is a cosponsor of the No Budget, No Pay Act, which withholds the salaries of members of Congress if it fails to pass a budget.
  • Rep. Mark Meadows, R-NC said in a letter to the House administrator "as long as our border security agents, air traffic controllers and TSA agents are not paid and their families not supported, I will not accept any salary."
  • Rep. Paul Mitchell, R-MI posted his letter requesting the House administrator withhold his pay on Facebook as the shutdown began.
  • Rep. Tom O'Halleran, D-AZ promised to forgo his salary.
  • Rep. Pete Olson, R-TX supports a constitutional amendment to make furloughed Congressional salaries standard during shutdowns.
  • Rep. Chris Pappas, D-NH asked the House administrator to withhold his pay.
  • Rep. Brad Schneider, D-IL pledged his salary to charity during the shutdown and cosponsored the Hold Congress Accountable Act which would prevent members of Congress from accepting a paycheck during a government shutdown.
  • Rep. Max Rose, D-NY made a statement announcing he would forgo his paycheck.
  • Rep. Mikie Sherrill, D-NJ requested "that my pay be withheld until the shutdown is over" in a tweet, "I came here to govern, not engage in partisan politics at the expense of hardworking Americans."
  • Rep. Ross Spano, R-FL said "I would support legislation forcing members of Congress to forfeit pay during any government shutdown, and I pledge not to take a paycheck until this impasse is resolved."
  • Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-NY posted her letter to the House administrator on Twitter requesting her pay be withheld.
  • Rep. Van Taylor, R-TX tweeted, "Members of Congress should not be paid when critical federal employees, including our border patrol agents, are denied their paychecks."
  • Rep. Mark Walker, R-NC said "As long as these brave men and women are forced to work without a paycheck, I will be refusing mine as well" as he blamed "liberals (who) refuse to secure our border and drag on this partial shutdown."
  • Rep. Michael Waltz, R-FL wrote "I do not believe it appropriate for Members of Congress to be paid while federal employees critical to our national security are not," in a letter to the chief administrative officer.
  • Rep. Jennifer Wexton, D-VA asked the administrative office to hold her pay until the shutdown is resolved. .
  • Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-NY requested the House Chief Administrative Officer to "withhold my pay until the government reopens."
  • If you know of other Congress members who are participating, please list them in the comments!

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    Meryl Ann Butler is an artist, author, educator and OpedNews Managing Editor who has been actively engaged in utilizing the arts as stepping-stones toward joy-filled wellbeing since she was a hippie. She began writing for OpEdNews in Feb, 2004. She became a Senior Editor in August 2012 and Managing Editor in January, (more...)

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