Some Kentucky Members of Congress Won't Accept Pay During Shutdown

Oct 3, 2013

Many federal employees will go without a paycheck during the government’s partial shutdown, but the 533 members of Congress will continue to be paid.  Congressional pay is protected by the U.S. Constitution, but some lawmakers don’t think it’s fair. 

Kentucky’s Second District Congressman Brett Guthrie, a Republican from Bowling Green, is asking that his pay be withheld, and if the stalemate isn’t resolved by the end of the month, he will decide what to do with the money.

“As thousands of federal employees in Kentucky are not being paid during the shutdown, I have submitted paperwork to the House asking that my pay be suspended during this time,” replied Guthrie.  “Some of my colleagues have instead chosen to donate their salaries to charity. My family has a strong commitment to charitable giving and I prefer to keep these donations private and not linked to politics.”

For Third District Congressman John Yarmuth, a Louisville Democrat, pay isn’t an issue.

“He has donated every cent of his Congressional salary to Louisville charities every year he's been in Congress,” spokesman Stephen George said in an email. 

WKU Public Radio contacted the offices of the rest of Kentucky’s Congressional delegation, but were not able to reach their spokespeople.  Emails were not returned, and recorded phone messages and website statements there would be delays in any correspondence until the government resumes normal operations.