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Indiana lawmakers suspend, donate pay during government shutdown

Posted at 12:40 PM, Jan 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-20 15:51:35-05

INDIANAPOLIS -- Several Indiana lawmakers have said they are either suspending or donating their pay during the current government shut down. 

After a dramatic 11th-hour standoff, Congress was unable to pass a funding bill to keep the government from shutting down late Friday evening. 

Senator Joe Donnelly was the first to release a statement less than an hour after the shutdown saying he would be donating his pay to charity in Indiana. 

Donnelly voted for the funding bill that would have kept hte government running. 

“The most basic duty of Congress is to fund the federal government, and I voted to keep the government running. I am incredibly disappointed Congress failed to prevent a shutdown," Donnelly said. "Like in 2013, I’m going to work with my colleagues in a bipartisan manner to reopen the government, and I will donate my take-home pay during the shutdown to charity in Indiana.”

This isn't the first time Donnelly has donated his pay. In 2013 during the last government shutdown, the senator donated his $5,000 take-home pay to 10 food banks across Indiana. 

Rep. Luke Messer (IN-06) joined Donnelly on Saturday, vowing to donate his take-home pay to pro-life charities in the state. 

“The House did its job and voted to keep the government open,” Messer said. “Now, the Senate needs to end the filibuster and put aside the partisan political games. I will be donating my pay during the shutdown to Indiana pro-life charities.”

READ | The government just shut down. What happens next? | How long do government shutdowns usually last?

Congressman Todd Rokita also joined the two, saying he would be donating his salary from what many have dubbed the "Schumer Shutdown" to charities supporting families of fallen border patrol agents and law enforcement officers. 

"I've decided to donate my shutdown salary to charities supporting the families of fallen border patrol agents and law enforcement officers who have died at the hands of illegal immigrants,” Rokita said. “President Trump needs all the help he can get against Chuck Schumer and radical Senate Democrats who have put amnesty for illegal immigrants and an open border ahead of the American people, our military, and health care for low-income children."

Rep. Susan Brooks (IN-05) took a slightly different route, sending a letter to request that her pay be suspended during the government shutdown.

 

She also signed on as a co-sponsor of the "Pay Our Protectors, Not Our Politicians Act of 2018," which would require that the military and those performing national security duties within the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security continue to receive pay during a government shutdown. The bill would also ensure that death benefits are paid to troops’ families. It would also prohibit Members of Congress from receiving a paycheck during a government shutdown.

 

READ | This is what happens during a U.S. government shutdown

“This morning, I submitted a letter requesting that during the current lapse in appropriations my pay be withheld until we do our job and fund the government,” Brooks said. “I also signed on as a cosponsor to H.R. 4852, the Pay Our Protectors, Not Our Politicians Act of 2018. Ensuring our Armed Forces, Coast Guard, active duty reservists, homeland security staff and American heroes in the military who work tirelessly to protect our homeland have the resources to continue to safely and efficiently protect the United States at home and abroad is more important than partisan politics. The men and women in our Armed Forces work around the clock to keep us safe and should be paid on time regardless of how long a government shutdown lasts.”

The last shutdown occurred during the Obama administration. It lasted 16 days, from October 1, 2013 to October 17, 2013.