PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – All four lawmakers in Rhode Island’s congressional delegation will forgo their pay if federal workers lose their wages as a result of the government shutdown, WPRI.com has confirmed.
Spokespersons for U.S. Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse, Congressman David Cicilline and Congressman Jim Langevin all said the Democrats would donate their salaries to charity if federal workers aren’t paid retroactively once the shutdown ends.
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Chip Unruh, a spokesman for U.S. Sen. Jack Reed, also said that “if federal workers … are not paid, he will forgo his salary too," though he did not specify where the money would go.
“It is only fair for members of Congress to share in the hardship,” Unruh told WPRI.com.
Seth Larson, a spokesperson for Whitehouse, said “it’s just a matter of wanting to stand with federal workers.”
“We need the [House of Representatives] - specifically the Tea Party Republicans - to do their job and fund the government,” Larson said. “The government shutdown is having an adverse effect on those who get up and work for the federal government everyday.”
Members of Congress make $174,000 annually.
Ironically, the spokespersons who answered WPRI.com's questions about whether their bosses will forego their pay are among those who aren't getting paid as a result of the shutdown.
Wednesday marked the second day of the government shutdown after congressional Democrats and Republicans couldn’t come to an agreement on a continuing resolution to fund the government. The last funding bill expired at midnight on Sept. 30.
Some members of the GOP have demanded that any resolution include a provision to defund or delay the Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare.” Democrats have fiercely opposed those proposals.
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