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Will Your Rep. in Congress Keep Their Paycheck During the Shutdown?

Top left to right: Rep. Juan Vargas, Rep. Scott Peters and Rep. Darrell Issa. Bottom left to right: Rep. Susan Davis and Rep. Duncan Hunter
Top left to right: Rep. Juan Vargas, Rep. Scott Peters and Rep. Darrell Issa. Bottom left to right: Rep. Susan Davis and Rep. Duncan Hunter

By Khari Johnson

As the federal government shutdown continues into its fourth day, three members of San Diego's Congressional delegation said they would give up their own paychecks.

About 800,000 federal workers have been furloughed without pay but members of Congress continue to collect paychecks, causing many Americans to ask whether their representative will keep their pay.

Rep. Susan Davis (D-CA), who represents La Mesa, Lemon Grove and parts of San Diego and Chula Vista, is the only member of the San Diego delegation who intends to keep her pay.

"She has no plans to forgo her pay as she is working hard to make sure that all federal workers get paid, which is why she signed on to HR 3223 to make sure all federal employees get paid retroactively," said her spokesman Aaron Hunter in an email Thursday. "This manufactured crisis could be over in an hour if the Speaker would allow the House to vote on a clean funding bill."

After repeated efforts to contact the office of freshman Rep. Juan Vargas (D-CA), who represents all cities along the California-Mexico border including Imperial Beach and Imperial County, could not be reached for comment.

At least 125 members of Congress have said they plan to donate or refuse compensation during the government shutdown, according to the Washington Post.

Members of Congress make $174,000 annually.

Worth $355 million, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) is the wealthiest member of Congress and already donates his salary to charity, the paper reported.

Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) represents Santee, Ramona and other parts of San Diego's East County, 

"He too intends to suspend his pay as Congress works on a solution to resume full government operations," said Hunter's spokesman Joe Kasper, adding that he supports HR 3223 to retroactively pay federal employees.

Rep. Scott Peters (D-CA) plans to donate his pay during the shutdown to charity.

"i do not believe that the leadership failure of the republican majority can subject 800,000 workers to furlough, and countless american to service delays and closures, while I collect a paycheck," said Peters, whose 52nd District includes Coronado, Poway, La Jolla and parts of San Diego. "Americans across the country are being harmed by this irresponsible shutdown."

By law, members of Congress must get paid. Ratified in 1992, the 27th amendment prevents member of Congress from altering their pay "until an election of representatives have intervened."

U.S. Senators Barbara Boxer and Barbara Feinstein have both pledged to reject their pay during the shutdown. Boxer has proposed a change in law to ensure members of Congress do not get paid in the event of a future shutdown. 

Local Editor Steven Bartholow contributed to this report.

John E October 06, 2013 at 03:34 PM
No work ... no pay. Davis doesn't get it.

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