The government shutdown is affecting hundreds of thousands of furloughed workers, including those who have a say in ending it. But for one lawmaker, his “nice house” is the reason he chose to still collect his pay while so many others suffer without it, reports MSN Now on Oct. 5.
As the shutdown enters its second week, Congressman Lee Terry (R-Neb.) said there is no way he is opting to give up his government salary. He needs it, don’t you know, to pay for his nice house and his kid’s college tuition.
Members of Congress still get paid during the shutdown, as the video explains, because their salary comes from a pool of mandatory funds unaffected by the government shutting its doors.
“Dang straight,” Terry said when asked if he was keeping his paycheck.
While more than 100 lawmakers have either said they will not collect their pay or turn their paychecks over to charities, many more have not commented, evidently opting to keep their salary while close to 800,000 go without.
While Terry may not be alone, he certainly is the most brazen about his preference. Here’s Terry’s foot-in-mouth quote:
“Whatever gets them good press,” Terry said of other lawmakers who have chosen to forgo pay. “That's all that it's going to be. God bless them. But you know what? 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.”
Perhaps the decision among some to relinquish their pay (most members of Congress earn approximately $175,000 a year) is indeed for public relations and reelection purposes, but the gesture, however small it may be in the big picture, is certainly the better choice than to keep it and then flaunt it.
The House approved retroactive paychecks yesterday for federal employees when they are called back to work, but those payments could be delayed for some time. Meanwhile, bills and creditors are not delayed, causing close to one million workers on the government’s payroll to tap into savings, borrow or file for unemployment.