WASHINGTON, DC — While more than 800,000 federal workers, including some congressional staffers, are being furloughed during the government shutdown, members of Congress are still getting paid as required by law.
But some members of the House and Senate-the very bodies that failed to prevent the shutdown-are giving away their salary in solidarity. And some have decided to keep their paychecks.
CNN reached out to all 533 current members of Congress about their plans.
As of Friday at 2:00 p.m ET., the tally showed 43 senators are donating to charity or back to the Treasury Department, while 15 are not accepting a paycheck and four are undecided.
Seven senators say they plan to keep their salary. Those senators are: Tom Coburn, R-Oklahoma; Chris Murphy, D-Connecticut; Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa; Tom Harkin, D-Iowa; Roy Blunt, R-Missouri; Patty Murray, D-Washington.
On CNN’s Crossfire, Coburn said that he plans to keep his salary and “spend it and tithe it and give to it charities and do the things that I’ve always done.”
Harkin, on the other hand, told a local paper, “We’re coming to work, though, so as long as we’re working, we ought to get paid.”
In the House, 52 representatives say they’re donating to charity or the Treasury, while 81 are not accepting a paycheck and three are undecided.
Nine House members, however, say they’re keeping their salary: Mike Thompson, D-California; Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Florida; Rep. Danny Davis, D-Illinois; Rep. Todd Rokita, R-Indiana; Rep. William ‘Lacy’ Clay, Jr., D-Missouri; Rep. Howard Coble, R-North Carolina; Rep. Susan Brooks, R-North Carolina; Rep. Renee Ellmers, R-North Carolina; James Clyburn, D-South Carolina.
“I need my paycheck. That’s the bottom line,” Ellmers told North Carolina station WTVD in a phone interview.
“I understand that maybe there are members who are deferring their paychecks and that’s admirable,” Ellmers continued. “I’m not in that position.”
By Dan Merica. Laura Koran and Ashley Killough
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