Don Bacon says he’ll give up pay during government’s partial shutdown

Don Bacon says he’ll give up pay during government’s partial shutdown
Don Bacon joins other legislators, such as Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., in asking that his pay be withheld while Congress and the president can't reach an agreement to reopen the government. KENT SIEVERS/THE WORLD-HERALD

U.S. Rep. Don Bacon, R-Neb., has asked to give up his congressional pay during the partial government shutdown.

Bacon joins other legislators, such as Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., in asking that his pay be withheld while Congress and the president can’t reach an agreement to reopen the government. Bacon said in a statement that members of Congress should be treated the same as other federal employees.

“Fairness and decency dictates that my pay also be withheld,” he said. “Congress must act quickly to fund the government, protect our national security, and ensure hardworking men and women across the country receive the pay that they have rightfully earned.”

The Trump administration and Senate Democrats remain locked in a stalemate over how to end a partial government shutdown. The funding standoff entered its sixth day Thursday.

Most congressional salaries are $174,000 a year.

The Federal News Network reported that Reps. Dave Joyce, R-Ohio, Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., and French Hill, R-Ark., also requested that their pay be withheld.

Some have questioned whether the Constitution allows congressional compensation to be withheld, so other members have taken a different tack. Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., said he would donate his pay during the length of the shutdown to charity, and at least three other senators said they would do the same.

The issue of Nebraska’s 2nd District representative giving up congressional pay came up in 2013, when Lee Terry was asked if he would give up his pay.

“You know what?’’ he told The World-Herald, “I’ve got a nice house and a kid in college, and I’ll tell you we cannot handle it. Giving our paycheck away when you still worked and earned it? That’s just not going to fly.”

Democrats jumped on the statement and Terry later apologized. But he ended up losing the 2014 election.

U.S. Rep. Don Bacon’s letter.

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