As government shutdown drags on, some in Congress see fit to donate their pay (+video)
Funding for the group’s services for runaway and homeless youths comes from the Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children & Families, and Mr. Ostrowski says he’s not able to reach people in Washington to know how those funds will be affected.
“Any donation we got, we’d certainly endeavor to keep these going, and we would certainly not dump kids out of residences,” he says, “but we would take a significant hit to our balance sheet if we found out there is no funding during the shutdown.”
New Hampshire’s other members of Congress, Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D) and Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R), have also said they’ll donate charity during the shutdown.
The standard pay scale for members of Congress is currently $174,000, with those in leadership positions getting upward of $190,000. The federal workers on furlough are paid through appropriations from Congress, but Congress’s own pay is unaffected by the shutdown. Congress can vote to change its own pay only for future sessions, according to the 27th Amendment of the Constitution, says Craig Holman, a government affairs lobbyist for the congressional watchdog group Public Citizen. That’s intended to prevent them from giving themselves a raise during a current session.
Members of Congress can give their pay back to the Treasury Department, which Rep. Jared Polis (D) of Colorado has been doing this year to help pay down the debt, the Washington Post reports. Many have said they’ll hold their pay in escrow during the shutdown, and will donate it if other government employees aren’t compensated for their days away from work.