Veterans in Congress give up pay while government shutdown continues

Elizabeth Howe
January 09, 2019 - 1:58 pm

Photo courtesy of Wisconsin

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Representative Dan Crenshaw's recent announcement makes him the 12th veteran serving in Congress to give up a paycheck while the government remains shut down.

While the shutdown approaches its 21st day, hundreds of thousands of furloughed federal employees or federal employees going without pay. Now, roughly 60 members of Congress — including 12 veterans — have announced that they will join the ranks of these federal employees and reject pay until the government shutdown is over. 

The complete list of members includes members from both sides of the aisle with 13 senators and 51 representatives.

Several are going a step further and donating their pay to organizations like volunteer fire departments (Rep. Riggleman) and Homes for the Brave (Sen. Blumenthal).

These members of Congress join roughly 800,000 federal employees who have no way of knowing when their next paycheck will come — and 31.1 percent of federal employees are veterans. Of these 800,000 employees, 14 percent make less than $50,000 per year. Depending on the situation, that's not a lot to stretch when the paychecks stop coming.

According to Federal Times, two of the agencies with the highest percentage of veterans in the workforce (Department of Defense with 47 percent and Veterans Affairs with 33 percent) are still operating. But the Department of Transportation (37 percent) and the Department of Homeland Security (28 percent) are not. 

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