Friday, October 4, 2013

What Are LDS Members Of Congress Doing With Their Congressional Salaries During The Government Shutdown?

Members of Congress incur no legal obligation to refuse or donate their Congressional salaries during the current "government shutdown". Their jobs are authorized by the U.S. Constitution and are paid with mandatory funds, not discretionary spending dependent on annual appropriations. However, some have called upon members of Congress to set the example and "share the pain" felt by government workers and even some Congressional staff members furloughed during the shutdown by donating their salaries to charity or even refusing them outright. According to a post on Daily Kos, individual members and committee chairs will decide which staffers are "essential" and need to stay on during the shutdown (with retroactive pay) and which staffers get sent home. The latter might get back pay later on, but that's up to Congress.

CNN is tracking members of Congress to determine their intentions. They've published separate databases for both the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House. But I thought I'd identify and publish the intentions of those members of Congress who are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Of the 16 listed, 5 are refusing the salary, 1 is deferring his salary, 4 are donating their salary, and the remaining 6 can be presumed to be accepting their salary. Here are the results as of October 4th, 2013:

(1). U.S. Senate:
-- Jeff Flake (R-AZ): Undecided
-- Michael Crapo (R-ID): Crapo will donate any salary earned during shutdown.
-- Harry Reid (D-NV): CNN reported he was refusing his salary during shutdown but the Washington Post reports he's putting his salary into an escrow account.
-- Dean Heller (R-NV): No response.
-- Tom Udall (D-NM): Will donate salary to a charity specifically designed to help New Mexicans during the shutdown.
-- Mike Lee (R-UT): Will donate his salary to charity during shutdown.
-- Orrin Hatch (R-UT): Will donate his salary to charity during shutdown. The Washington Post reports Hatch will donate his entire salary to the LDS Church.

(2). U.S. House:
-- Matt Salmon (R-AZ5): Refusing his salary during shutdown.
-- Howard McKeon (R-CA25): No response.
-- Raul Labrador (R-ID1): Refusing his salary during shutdown.
-- Mike Simpson (R-ID2): Refusing his salary during shutdown.
-- Rob Bishop (R-UT1): No response.
-- Jason Chaffetz (R-UT3): Refusing his salary during shutdown.
-- Jim Matheson (D-UT4): Deferring acceptance of salary until end of shutdown.
-- Chris Stewart (R-UT2): No response.
-- Eni Faleomavaega (non-voting delegate from American Samoa): Not listed by CNN; does not address the issue on his official website.

There could be changes to this list as the shutdown continues. It looks like the Washington Post is also tracking Congressional intentions.

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