NW Congress Members Forgo Pay During Shutdown

By Tom Bacon

Many members of Congress from Idaho and Washington have opted to share the pain of the governmental shutdown by foregoing their salaries during the financial standoff.

At least two Washington State Democrats and three Republicans said they'll give back their salaries in some form, either donating the money to charities or instructing the US House administrative office to simply not issue checks. The Democrats are Susan DelBene and Derek Kilmer, both freshmen, and the Republicans are Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Spokane, Doc Hastings and Dave Reichert.

Kilmer bluntly blamed the spending impasse on - as he put it - a few in Congress who want to make political points. It's no wonder, he said, that Congress is held in lower regard than head lice. Even before the shutdown, DelBene had cut her congressional income by 8.2 percent to match the cuts mandated by sequestration.

The entire Idaho delegation - both congressmen and both senators, all Republican - said they will divert their mandatory pay to charity while the shutdown persists.

More than 100 members of Congress have said they'll forego their pay until spending bills are approved.
By law, members of Congress must be paid, but most of their employees are not so lucky. Oregon Senator Ron Wyden served notice on his website that constituent services are being slashed because staff people are not allowed to continue working, even voluntarily under a law passed in 1870.
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