— Rep. Erik Paulsen (@RepErikPaulsen) October 2, 2013
A Perry Mason cross-examination is not necessary as the obvious question is : after the delay, did you keep the pay, return it, or donate it ?
Erik Paulsen was not alone in sending out these tweets … for example
— Mike Conaway (@ConawayTX11) October 2, 2013
Now, the word is out that some Members have returned their pay … such as Mike Conaway (R-TX-11)
During the government shutdown I asked the House of Representatives’ chief administrative officer to stop paying my salary for the duration of the shutdown. I was told that by law the House was required to pay members of Congress. As I promised, today, I wrote a check to refund my pay to the U.S. Treasury from Oct.1 to Oct. 17. I opposed the bill ending the government shutdown because my fundamental concerns about out of control government spending and Obamacare have still not been addressed.
Other Members offered advice … In a post on his personal Facebook page that was later deleted, Steve Pearce (R-NM-02) offered a suggestion for any of the hundreds of thousands of furloughed government workers worried about being able to pay their bills: take out a loan!
“If you are a furloughed government employee, we encourage you to reach out to your financial institution as soon as you worry you may miss a paycheck. Don’t wait until you are behind on a bill; call now and explore your options.”
That Facebook posting exemplifies the personal financial advice that one would expect from Congressman Pearce … after all he is one of the Top Fifty wealthiest Members of the House. Rep. Stevan Pearce, New Mexico Republican, on Oct. 22.
That advice did not stop then as on October 22, Congressman Pearce issued a press release :
(October 23, 2013)– Today, U.S. Congressman Steve Pearce submitted a check to the U.S. Treasury Department for the amount of $6283.99, the amount he was paid during the partial government shutdown earlier this month. Pearce calculated the amount as his salary for the 16 days the shutdown lasted not including taxes and withholding which are paid to the government regardless.
“The shutdown impacted Americans,” said Pearce, “and it is wrong for members of Congress to receive a paycheck while other government employees faced uncertainty. I announced when the shutdown began that I would return any pay received while the government wasn’t fully functioning. In returning my pay I have requested that the Treasury apply the full amount to the national debt.”
Others have not refunded their pay … such as Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA-52), who voted against the House bill to reopen the government, received his full paycheck once the government was back up and running.
“Mr. Hunter said he was suspending his paycheck until full operations resumed. So he would receive his paycheck as will federal workers,” a spokesman for the California Republican said.
Thus it seems to be a fair question for Representative Paulsen … if you tweeted that you delayed your pay for as long as the shutdown lasted, where is the tweet now ?