Minn. Lawmakers Statements On Pay During the Shutdown

Updated: 10/01/2013 9:05 PM KSTP.com By: Leslie Dyste

Should lawmakers receive their pay during the shutdown?

Tuesday, 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS sent emails to all eight Minnesota House members and two Senators.

We asked what they are going to do with the paychecks they get while 18,000 Minnesotans are furloughed.

Here are the responses we received:

Sen. Al Franken:

“I’m already on the record on this. During the March 2011 budget negotiations, we in the Senate agreed that if the government shut down, we shouldn’t take our pay. So what I’m doing is donating my pay to a charitable organization that’s helping people affected by the shutdown.”

Sen. Amy Klobuchar:

Spokesperson Brigit Helgen: “The Senator is giving her pay during the government shutdown to the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health, since lifesaving NIH medical research is being slashed during the shutdown.”

Rep. Rick Nolan:

Congressman Nolan will accept and donate a considerable portion of his salary to Minnesota charities.

Rep. Tim Walz:

“The political games and governing by crisis attitude must end. Hardworking families are suffering because of the uncompromising, reckless attitude of a few rigid ideologues in Washington. That isn’t right and it isn’t fair. That is why I will donate my pay to charity.” Walz noted that he will donate his pay to the ECHO Food Shelf of Mankato and Rochester’s Channel One Regional Food Bank.

Rep. John Kline:

Congressman Kline has asked that his pay be withheld during the government shutdown.

Rep. Michele Bachmann:

Congresswoman Bachmann has requested that her pay be withheld during the government slowdown.

Rep. Keith Ellison:

“I am absolutely opposed to the shutdown and stand ready to vote for a continuing resolution to fund the federal government, all of it. But the Republican House majority has conditioned funding the federal government on delaying, defunding, and destroying the Affordable Care Act, even though it was passed according to law, confirmed by the Supreme Court, and prevailed during the last presidential election. The House Republicans have attempted to repeal the ACA 45 times and failed every time. This demand is unreasonable and I cannot accede to it.

"I am fighting to end the shutdown and the furloughs for all federal workers. I oppose the shutdown, don't believe in it, and did not cause it. I am deeply offended by the shutdown, and I empathize deeply with the furloughed workers. If handing back pay would help furloughed workers I would find a way to survive without pay, but of course it won't. Only allowing a vote on a clean continuing resolution will do that. The focus on Congressional pay is an attempt to draw attention away from the issue.

"The real issue here is that the Republican’s government shutdown jeopardizes the paychecks of more than 18,000 Minnesotans, and makes it harder for Minnesota’s families to put food on the table. It already prevented hundreds of people from getting new Social Security cards this morning in Minneapolis. It’s time to end this unnecessary and harmful shutdown."

Rep. Erik Paulsen:

"I have been informed that despite the current lapse in appropriations, Members of Congress will continue to receive their salaries. Until the government shutdown is resolved, I request that my pay be withheld."

Rep. Betty McCollum and Rep. Collin Peterson did not get back to us.