Furlough Solidarity: Officials and Lawmakers Offer Voluntary Pay Cuts

Rep. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., said in a statement she will take an 8.4 percent pay cut to match the reduction on most discretionary programs. Rep. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., said in a statement she will take an 8.4 percent pay cut to match the reduction on most discretionary programs. Flickr user studio08denver

A handful of lawmakers and federal executives who are exempt from taking forced, unpaid leave due to sequestration have pledged to stand with the downtrodden and the furloughed. The following is a list of people in government whose pay is unaffected by the automatic, across-the-board cuts, but who have discussed taking pay cuts if other federal employees are furloughed:

  • Ashton Carter, Deputy Secretary of Defense: Carter told a Senate committee he would cut his own salary by 20 percent if his employees face the equivalent pay reduction through furloughs.
  • Rep. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill.: Duckworth said in a statement she will take an 8.4 percent pay cut to match the reduction on most discretionary programs.
  • Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.: After Carter volunteered to have his salary cut, Graham said, “We should follow your model. We should have our pay docked and the president should have his pay docked.”
  • Sens. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., and Bill Nelson, D-Fla.: The two senators have introduced legislation to make congressional salaries vulnerable to sequestration cuts. “The federal workforce is looking at furloughs that would result in a sizeable pay cut -- and there’s absolutely no reason members of Congress should exempt themselves.”
  • Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md.: Mikulski took to the Senate floor to call for congressional pay cuts to match federal employee furloughs.
  • Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C.: The non-voting representative from Washington, D.C., said she will donate a day’s pay for each day federal employees are furloughed -- matching the highest number of furlough days by any agency -- to the Federal Employee Education and Assistance Fund.

Not all members of Congress favor a pay cut. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., recently said, when asked about the possibility of a trimmed salary because of sequestration, "I don't think we should do it; I think we should respect the work we do."

(Image via Flickr user studio08denver)

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