Lee Terry Needs His Salary During Government Shutdown To Pay For His 'Nice House'

Republican Won't Give Up Salary During Shutdown Because He Needs To Pay For His 'Nice House'

Rep. Lee Terry (R-Neb.) said this week that there is no way he's giving up his salary during the government shutdown.

"Dang straight," he said when asked by the Omaha World-Herald Bureau whether he would keep his paycheck.

About 800,000 public servants are furloughed during the government shutdown, and they'll only receive back pay for the lost time if Congress authorizes it. Even if Congress does approve the retroactive paychecks, they could be delayed for some time, depending on how long it takes for the government to reopen. Many government workers who have spoken with The Huffington Post have said any delay in their pay will be hard, since the bills they need to pay won't be delayed.

The salaries of members of Congress, as well as that of the president, come from a pool of mandatory funds and are not affected by a shutdown. Most members of Congress earn $174,000 a year.

While more than 100 lawmakers have said they will donate their salaries to charity during the government shutdown, the vast majority of them have either not commented or said they plan to keep their paychecks. So Terry is certainly not alone.

Many holdouts say they believe giving up their pay is a gimmick that wouldn't actually solve the impasse. Terry, however, was more blunt than most.

"Whatever gets them good press," Terry said of members giving up their salary. "That's all that it's going to be. 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. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) also said on Wednesday that he would be keeping his salary, because he's "working to earn" it and even came in on the weekend.

Furloughed federal workers would also like to be able to work hard to earn their paychecks, but right now, Congress is prohibiting most of them from doing so.

Before You Go

John Boehner

2013 Government Shutdown

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