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Congresswoman Says She Should Get Paid During Shutdown: ‘I Need My Paycheck’ (UPDATED)

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"Congresswoman Says She Should Get Paid During Shutdown: ‘I Need My Paycheck’ (UPDATED)"

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Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC)

Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC)

Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC) told a Raleigh TV station Wednesday that she would continue to accept and keep her government paycheck during the shutdown. Her reason, she explained, was that she needs the money.

“I need my paycheck. That’s the bottom line.” Ellmers explained. “I understand that there may be some other members who are deferring their paychecks, and I think that’s admirable. I’m not in that position.”

Ellmers, however, seems less concerned about the estimated 800,000 to 1 million federal employees who are currently furloughed — or people like the Capitol police who are working but will not be paid until after the shutdown ends.

Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE) took a similar line in an interview with Omaha 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.”

Ellmers, Terry, and the unanimous House Republican caucus have voted three times this week to block even allowing a vote on a clean continuing resolution to come up for a vote. If House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and the GOP majority were to bring such a bill a vote, it can likely attract at least 217 votes and re-open the government

Update

Ellmers backtracked Friday, announcing that she would ask the House chief administration officer to withhold her pay until the shutdown is over. In a statement, she said she has decided to “stand with all federal workers.”

Update

Terry also backtracked Saturday, explaining, “The other day I made a statement that I would put my needs above others in crisis. I’m ashamed of my comments,” adding, “It was not leadership. It is not how I was raised.” He also asked the House chief administration officer to withhold his pay until the shutdown ends.

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