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Sen. Al Franken Donates His Salary to Second Harvest During the GOP Shutdown

more from Sarah Jones
Wednesday, October, 2nd, 2013, 7:31 pm

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Unlike

some

in

Congress

who

claim

they

won’t

be

taking

their

salary,

Senator

Al

Franken

(D-MN)

specified

the

charity

to

which

his

salary

will

be

sent.

Franken

will

be

donating

his

salary

during

the

GOP

shutdown

to

Second

Harvest

Heartland,

a

hunger

relief

organization

that

works

throughout

Minnesota.

“Second

Harvest

Heartland

is

a

great

organization

that

works

throughout

Minnesota,

providing

vital

assistance

to

families

who

would

otherwise

go

hungry,”

said

Senator

Franken

in

a

statement.

“Just

as

I

was

prepared

to

do

in

2011

when

we

faced

a

possible

shutdown,

I

won’t

be

taking

my

salary.

I

believe

that

while

the

government

is

shut

down,

donating

my

salary

to

charity

is

the

right

thing

to

do,

and

I’m

going

to

make

sure

that

money

goes

toward

helping

people

who

might

be

badly

affected

by

the

shut

down.”

The

Senator’s

office

explained

that

he

chose

this

organization

because

“he

said

people

who

rely

on

the

federal

government’s

safety

net

programs

may

need

help

making

ends

meet

as

a

result

of

the

shutdown.”

Members

of

Congress

make

$174,000

a

year,

with

leadership

making

more.

Speaker

John

Boehner

(R-OH)

makes

$223,500

annually,

Senate

Majority

Leader

Harry

Reid

(D-NV),

Senate

Minority

Leader

Mitch

McConnell

(R-KY)

and

the

President

pro

tempore

of

the

Senate

make

$193,400.

href=”http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2013/10/01/which-lawmakers-will-refuse-their-pay-during-the-shutdown/”>The

Washington

Post

is

keeping

a

running

tally

of

which

lawmakers

have

sworn

to

“refuse”

their

salaries.

As

of

this

writing,

they’ve

determined

that

at

least

56

Republicans

and

48

Democrats

have

claimed

that

they

will

refuse

or

donate

their

salaries.

However,

under

the

Constitution,

members

of

Congress

and

the

president

must

be

paid

by

law,

so

they

can’t

technically

just

refuse

their

salaries.

Under

the

27th

amendment,

lawmakers’

salaries

can’t

be

altered

until

the

start

of

a

new

term.

Thus

they

will

be

donating

money

if

they

are

really

“refusing”

it,

and

not

just

putting

out

a

statement

saying

that

they

are

“refusing”

their

salary.

A

Boehner

spokesperson

told

href=”http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2013/10/01/which-lawmakers-will-refuse-their-pay-during-the-shutdown/”>The

Washington

Post

that

the

speaker

“will

not

be

paid

for

the

duration

of

the

shutdown.”

Note

the

passive

voice

here

this

could

mean

anything.

How

will

he

not

be

paid?

He

has

to

be

paid

per

the

law.

Is

he

going

to

wait

to

collect

his

paycheck

or

is

he

really

giving

the

money

to

charity

or

back

to

the

government?

Look

for

specificity

in

these

promises

or

they

are

sort

of

meaningless.

In

January,

Senator

Barbara

Boxer

introduced

a

bill

designed

to

prevent

lawmakers

from

getting

paid

if

the

government

was

shutdown.

href=”http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/09/30/how-congress-will-still-get-paid-in-a-government-shutdown.html”>The

Daily

Beast

noted,

“A

similar

bill

passed

the

Senate

unanimously

in

2011,

but

the

House

never

voted

on

it.”

So,

the

Republican-led

House

blocked

a

bill

to

keep

them

from

getting

paid

when

they

take

the

economy

hostage.

Since

Republicans

are

behind

this

shutdown

(and

no,

they

don’t

get

a

break

just

because

they

are

not

part

of

the

suicide

caucus

because

as

of

this

writing,

they

haven’t

managed

to

stand

up

to

the

tea

jihadists),

including

charging

newbie

Senator

Ted

Cruz

who

specializes

in

adolescent

hubris,

their

first

order

of

business

should

have

been

to

shut

down

their

own

perks

and

salaries.

Not

all

of

Congress,

not

their

staffers,

but

their

own.

Jumping

off

the

bridge

because

Ted

said

so

isn’t

good

enough

for

highly

paid

alleged

adults

whose

job

it

is

to

fund

the

government.

Personal

accountability

might

help

them

grow

up.

Sen. Al Franken Donates His Salary to Second Harvest During the GOP Shutdown was written by Sarah Jones for PoliticusUSA.
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