Survey: Few senators plan to return pay

April 3, 2013 at 3:06 PM
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WASHINGTON, April 3 (UPI) -- Few U.S. senators say they'll give up part of their congressional pay during the federal budget sequester but most aren't saying what they'll do, The Hill said.

The Capitol Hill publication surveyed members of the Senate, which adopted an amendment urging members to give up 20 percent of their salary during the sequestration, which has resulted in furloughs of hundreds of thousands of government workers.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., introduced the amendment, telling The Hill at the time, "Every member of Congress should give up 20 percent of their pay to the charity of their choice or wherever they want to spend the money, just get it out of their hands, their account, because that's what they're doing to the private sector."

The Hill said Graham was one of five senators indicating they will give up some of their pay. The others were Mark Begich, D-Alaska, Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va.

A White House official said President Barack Obama will return 5 percent of his $400,000 presidential salary to the U.S. Treasury in solidarity with affected federal employees, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel will take a pay cut this year in light of the 14 furlough days some employees will be forced to take, the Pentagon said Tuesday.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. said members of Congress should not give up part of their pay because "it's necessary for us to have the dignity of the job that we have (be) rewarded."

The Senate offices of Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, John McCain, R-Ariz., Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., Bernie Sanders, Ind-Vt., Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., and Angus King, Ind-Maine, said those members already contribute some of their income to charity, The Hill reported.

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., does not accept a Senate salary, giving it instead to the Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga, his office said.

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