A Nebraska congressman apologized Sunday for saying he would continue to collect his salary during the government shutdown, announcing he would ask to have it withheld until furloughed workers receive their pay.
Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE) was frank when he told the Omaha World-Herald last week that his colleagues who chose to forego their paychecks or donate them to charity during the shutdown were only doing so for publicity.
“Dang straight,” he said when asked if he would claim his salary, citing his “nice house” and “a kid in college” as expenses.
Terry called his own remarks “shameful.”
“The other day I made a statement that I would put my needs above others in crisis,” the Nebraska Republican said in a statement, as quoted by the World-Herald. “I’m ashamed of my comments. It was not leadership. It is not how I was raised. It is not the nature of my character. It is not what I want to teach my sons. I apologize for my hurtful remarks when so many others are feeling the pain of Washington’s dysfunction.”
“I should and will stand in the shoes of the federal civilian employees who are furloughed,” he added. “We share the same responsibilities to pay our bills, and if they don’t receive a paycheck and must take extraordinary efforts and sacrifice to pay them, then I should, too.”
Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at email@example.com.