NC reps refuse pay during shutdown
by Kellen Short
As the federal government shutdown continues, North Carolina's congressional delegation is among those refusing or donating their pay.
As the closure hit day four on Friday, Rep. Virginia Foxx and Sens. Kay Hagan and Richard Burr had pledged to turn down or give to charity the portions of their $174,000 salaries received during the shutdown.
More than 800,000 federal workers have been furloughed or are working without pay since Oct. 1, due to Congress' failure to pass a budget or continuing resolution. Some in Congress have elected to join them in solidarity.
Foxx has asked the chief administrative officer of the House to suspend her pay until the shutdown is resolved, Press Secretary Ericka Perryman said Friday.
"The congresswoman made that call because she felt it was the right thing for her to do, and she remains focused on finding a fair, bipartisan solution to reopen the federal government for the American people as soon as possible," Perryman said in an email.
Hagan is taking a similar route.
She plans to donate her pay for the duration of the shutdown to a North Carolina charity, communications director Sadie Weiner said. The senator has not yet decided which charity will receive her donation.
Burr's office did not respond to questions by presstime Friday, but a database of responses compiled by CNN said Burr had announced he would donate his salary to charity.
The battle of the political wills continued Friday, with House Republicans offering several bills to individually fund certain programs and services. They found continued resistance from Democrats, who pledged to support only a bill that funded the entire government.
Meanwhile, President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden took a lunchtime jaunt on foot Friday to a D.C. cafe amid a gaggle of reporters and photographers. There, the president called on House Speaker John Boehner to allow a vote on a Senate version of a spending plan that does not attempt to alter Obamacare.
"This shutdown could be over today," Obama said Friday. "We know there are the votes for it in the House of Representatives. And as I said yesterday, if Speaker Boehner will simply allow that vote to take place, we could end this shutdown."
Boehner, in statements earlier Friday, accused Democrats and the White House of grandstanding because they thought they were "winning."
"The American people don't want their government shut down, and neither do I," Boehner said. "All we're asking for is to sit down and have a discussion and to bring fairness -- re-open the government -- and bring fairness to the American people under Obamacare. It's as simple as that. But it all has to begin with a simple discussion."