Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE) made it clear to the Omaha World-Herald in a story published Friday that he would collect his salary during the government shutdown.
“Dang straight,” Terry said when the newspaper asked whether he would collect his pay during the shutdown, adding that he thought the question was irrelevant because the budget crisis would be resolved shortly.
Asked about other members of Congress who announced they would either donate their pay to charity or forego paychecks for the duration of the shutdown, Terry suggested it was all for show.
“Whatever gets them good press. That’s all that it’s going to be,” he told the newspaper. “God bless them. But you know what? 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.”
Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC) expressed admiration Thursday for members who were deferring their paychecks, but said she was not in a position to forego pay herself. Democratic National Committee chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) also said that she would continue to take her salary.
Update: Ellmers sent a letter to House officials Friday requesting that her pay be withheld during the shutdown.
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.