WASHINGTON – A number of brave Republican House members today announced that despite the government shutdown, they would bravely stand up to special interests by refusing to compromise on their belief that they should draw a regular salary.
“I need my paycheck. That’s the bottom line,” said Representative Renee Ellmers of North Carolina. “I understand that there may be some other members who are deferring their paychecks, and I think that’s admirable. I’m not in that position.”
Representative Ellmers went on to lay her position in full, which is that she should continue to receive money even after voting to shut down the Federal Government and furloughing over 800,000 government workers without pay. “I’ve always believed that I should be paid for doing my job, even when I don’t do it,” she explained. “I think I’ve made that very clear.”
A growing number of members of the both the House and the Senate have gone on record that they will be donating any salary they earn during the government shutdown. Forgoing the $174,000 per year salary they earn in Congress will be especially hard on members of the House of Representatives, who are only worth an average of $6.5 million as opposed to their wealthier fellow legislators in the Senate, who are worth an average of $11.9 million.
However, Representative Ellmers was not alone in standing firm and refusing to bend to the will of special interests. “I’m staying here, and I’m working,” said Republican Representative Kevin Cramer of North Dakota. “My office is open, we’re taking phone calls, I’m voting every day, I’m debating every day, I’m going to countless meetings. I’m working to earn the salary that the people pay me to do the job. I will continue to earn it, and I will continue to collect what I earn.”
When it was pointed out that many of the furloughed employees are also continuing to do their job, only without the benefit of getting paid, Cramer responded, “They have their beliefs, and I have mine.”