Ayotte, Shaheen will donate salaries to charity during government shutdown
Both of New Hampshire’s U.S. senators say they’ll donate their salaries to charity as long as the federal government is shut down.
Under the 27th Amendment, Congress can’t change its compensation mid-session, meaning members are continuing to receive their salaries — $174,000 a year for rank-and-file senators and representatives — despite the shutdown.
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, a Democrat, announced today she’ll send her pay to the New Hampshire Food Bank.
“I didn’t think it was appropriate to take a salary while so many people have been furloughed because of the government shutdown,” she said in a statement. “We need to immediately come together and get the government running again because the consequences of this shutdown are very real for families and small businesses across New Hampshire and the country.”
Sen. Kelly Ayotte, a Republican, followed suit.
“Any days that federal workers do not get paid, I will donate my salary to a New Hampshire charity,” she tweeted.
As of early this afternoon, The Washington Post counted 91 members of Congress planning to donate or decline their pay during the standoff.
The offices of Rep. Carol Shea-Porter and Rep. Annie Kuster, both New Hampshire Democrats, didn’t immediately respond to messages seeking information about their salaries.
The New Hampshire Republican Party was quick to call on them to decline or donate their pay.
“Reps. Kuster and Shea-Porter have let down New Hampshire and they must pledge to decline their paychecks or donate them to charity for the duration of this shutdown,” said Chairwoman Jennifer Horn in a statement.
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A Kuster spokesman said she’ll make charitable contributions during the shutdown, too, though he didn’t say if she would donate her entire salary.
“For every day the government is shut down, Rep. Kuster will contribute to Child and Family Services of New Hampshire and organizations serving veterans and military families,” said Rob Friedlander in a statement.
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Shea-Porter gave no sign this afternoon she would decline to take her salary during the shutdown.
“My husband and I contribute regularly to good causes. We’ll continue to make charitable donations. We have always kept our charitable giving private and will continue to do so,” she said in a statement.
(Ben Leubsdorf can be reached at 369-3307 or firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @BenLeubsdorf.)