Sen. Ted Cruz to Donate Salary During Shutdown

Tuesday, 01 Oct 2013 11:47 AM

By Lisa Furgison

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For each day the government is shut down, Sen. Ted Cruz says he’ll donate his salary to charity.

The Texas Republican made his promise Monday, just hours before lawmakers hit a stalemate that sent the government into a shutdown, the National Review reports.

"If . . .  Harry Reid forces a government shutdown, I intend to donate my salary to charity for each day the government is shut down," Cruz said in a statement.

Cruz makes $174,000 a year. That’s $467.71 a day — before tax.

Montana Republican Rep. Steve Daines  plans to do the same. The Missoulian reports
Daines will donate his salary to the Big Sky Honor Flight, a nonprofit that flies vets to Washington D.C. to visit war memorials.

House Speaker John Boehner says he'll simply return his check to the Treasury during the shutdown. He earns $223,500 or $612.33 a day. Boehner wrote a letter to House members encouraging them to return their checks as well.

Reporters have asked other lawmakers if they'll do the same, but many have shied away from answering the question.

Cruz says he'll donate his salary because he knows many federal employees will go without pay during the shutdown.

"Elected leaders should not be treated better than the American people, which is precisely why hardworking Americans deserve the same Obamacare exception that President Obama has already granted Members of Congress."

Cruz is referring to a subsidy offered to all members of Congress and its staff to cover about 75 percent of the healthcare costs under Obamacare. Cruz and other Republican leaders including Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul have voiced their frustrations about the measure. Paul called the subsidy "despicable" and wants to end the exemptions.

The subsidy battle is just another piece of the overarching Obamacare dispute that caused the first federal government shutdown in 17 years.

Related Stories:
Shutdown Begins
Poll: Cruz Top Pick of Republican Voters for 2016

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