Not much happening in our little town this week - but more than is happening in Washington, DC. What is wrong with those people???
Lee Terry, Deb Fischer, Mike Johanns and Jeff Fortenberry Omaha World Herald Remarks - You can read the whole article on
Rep. Lee Terry, R-Neb., was blunt when asked if he would continue collecting his paychecks during the shutdown.
“Dang straight,” he said.
Terry suggested it's an irrelevant question because the situation would be resolved before long. Wrong!
What about the other members who were donating or forgoing their pay?
“Whatever gets them good press,” Terry said. “That's all that it's going to be. God bless them. But you know what? I've got a nice house and a kid in college, and I'll tell you we cannot handle it. Giving our paycheck away when you still worked and earned it? That's just not going to fly.”
He acknowledged that many federal employees aren't getting paid because of the shutdown.
“We're fighting to get them back to work. That's the real issue, is getting this thing done,” Terry said. “I'm working with leadership. I'm trying to figure out ways to get this done.”
He also said that civilian workers furloughed from U.S. Strategic Command or the 55th Wing should not be going without pay. He said legislation signed by the president provides for their pay, and that the administration is violating the law in furloughing them.
“That is one of the most vicious games I've seen,” Terry said. “Those people were protected by law, and they're still being furloughed.”
Rep. Adrian Smith, R-Neb., told The World-Herald he has asked the government to hold his paychecks during the shutdown, and cited the congressional aides who have been furloughed.
“I'm trying to be consistent with my own office policy,” Smith said.
Other lawmakers from Iowa and Nebraska felt differently.
“I think that's a gimmick,” Sen. Deb Fischer, R-Neb., said when asked about members forgoing or donating pay during the shutdown. “I think it's theatrics. It doesn't do anything to solve the problem, and if you have followed my public service career, you will know that I don't do gimmicks.” It appears no one is trying to solve the problem - so why get paid for not being productive?
Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, also expressed no plans to give up his salary.
“We're coming to work, though, so as long as we're working, we ought to get paid,” Harkin said.
He said, however, that he feels sorry for congressional aides who aren't being paid. He said he has heard stories of aides borrowing money to make car payments and house payments.
“That's just a shame,” Harkin said.
Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, R-Neb., said in a statement that the situation is frustrating but that he wouldn't be giving up his pay.
“Many individuals and families are facing hardships due to this shutdown,” he said in the statement. “Feel-good gestures will not solve the problem. We will keep working toward a solution.”
And Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, indicated he'll continue to collect his pay.
“I'm working,” Grassley said. “Anybody else who is in my office is being paid if they're working.”
Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, said he's still figuring out the implications of the shutdown and hasn't decided whether to continue collecting his pay or not.
A spokesman for Sen. Mike Johanns, R-Neb., said the senator already donates more to charity per year than he would earn during the shutdown.
These people have forgotten who they work for - it's US.
And let's not forget our own State Legislature