Pay for Congress while federal workers see reduced pay


by ANDY PIERROTTI / KVUE News and Photojournalist DEREK RASOR

Bio | Email | Follow: @AndyP_KVUE

Posted on October 1, 2013 at 5:52 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 2 at 2:26 PM

DISCLAIMER: This video aired before Congressman McCaul responded to KVUE. We've added his response to our text below.

AUSTIN -- While nearly a million federal workers will see smaller paychecks for the unforeseeable future, members of Congress still qualify to get paid by law during the government shutdown.

The KVUE Defenders wanted to know if Central Texas congressmen would suspend or donate their pay until they fix the mess they created.

"I don’t think that it's fair for 800,000 people to not have a paycheck and then some others to have a paycheck," says Semondi Bisu from Austin.

So who's willing to for forgo pay?

Senator Ted Cruz plans to donate his salary to a charity yet to be determined. Senator John Cornyn's office simply told the Defenders "he will not get paid." U.S. Representative John Carter from Round Rock plans to suspend his pay. Congressmen Bill Flores and Lamar Smith support a bill that would prevent paying members of Congress during any shutdown.

If it doesn’t pass, Congressman Flores plans to donate his pay to the U.S. Treasury Department.

"I plan to take all of my pay that I have received during the shutdown period to reduce the federal debt,” Flores told KVUE News over the phone.

Congressman Smith is waiting for the bill to come to a vote.

“In this case I expect a bill to come to the House floor that will reduce our pay proportional to the days the government was shut down, and I will support that legislation,” said Smith.

Congressman Lloyd Doggett, the lone Democrat from Austin, did not have a clear answer on what he plans to do.

"What the Republican caucus is doing cannot be undone simply by not returning their paycheck. We need a complete end to this shutdown," Doggett argued.

A spokesperson for Representative Michael McCaul said Tuesday evening that the congressman is donating his pay to the March of Dimes.  McCaul is also one of the wealthiest members of Congress.

While members of Congress will still get paid, their staff will not.

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