Coloradans in Congress giving up paychecks during shutdown

Several members of Colorado’s congressional delegation are putting their money — meaning their paychecks — where their mouths are.

On Thursday, as the partial government shutdown headed toward its fourth week, Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Denver, announced on Twitter that she would forgo her salary as long as federal workers were in the same boat.

“As long as these workers aren’t getting paid, I won’t take my paycheck, either,” she tweeted.

Two of DeGette’s Republican colleagues — Reps. Scott Tipton and Doug Lamborn — made the same pledge back when the shutdown began on Dec. 22. Lamborn tweeted on the eve of the shutdown that “hundreds of thousands of Americans will be without pay until Congress can resolve the shutdown issue.”

“That’s at least one reason why I will not be receiving my salary until a solution is finalized,” he tweeted. “I’ll continue fighting for what’s right and working to protect the American people.”

A spokesman for Sen. Cory Gardner, who was praised by federal workers rallying outside his Denver office on Thursday for being one of the only Republican senators to call for the government to re-open without including money for a border wall, said Colorado’s junior senator would give up his pay for as long as the shutdown lasts in the event federal workers aren’t given back pay. Gardner would donate that portion of his salary to charity.

Sen. Michael Bennet on Thursday also pledged to give his pay earned during the shutdown to charity, something he said he has done during previous government shutdowns.

A spokeswoman for Rep. Jason Crow, who took office on Jan. 3, said “should this shutdown continue, Jason plans to ask that his salary be withheld until Congress finds a solution.” She did not specify when Crow planned to have his pay docked.

Of the seven delegation members who responded Thursday, Rep. Ed Perlmutter was the only one to say he didn’t plan to forgo his pay during the shutdown. In a statement, his office said no federal employee “should have their paycheck held hostage.”

“The folks impacted by this shutdown don’t need nice gestures, they need their paycheck and food to provide for their families,” the statement said.

Perlmutter’s office noted that the congressman starting Friday will serve meals and offer help at his Colorado office on weekdays to those affected by the shutdown.

A rank-and-file member of Congress earns $174,000 a year, as does a U.S. senator.

Reps. Joe Neguse and Ken Buck had not responded to a question about their pay during the shutdown as of late Thursday afternoon.

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