Many of the richest in Congress still taking paychecks during shutdown

October 2, 2013

Many of the wealthiest members of Congress have resisted so far doing what more and more of their colleagues have done -- refusing or donating their paychecks while the government shutdown lasts.

The wealthiest member of Congress, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), has long donated his salary to charity, his office said on Thursday. Yet only about half of Congress's richest 30 members  have renounced their paychecks, as of late Wednesday.

Of the top 10, each worth at least $35 million, Sens. John D. Rockefeller (D-W. Va.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Rep. James B. Renacci (R-Ohio) were not on lists of Congress members donating or spurning their salaries during the shutdown.

By Wednesday afternoon, only 108 of the 535 members of Congress were on record rejecting their salaries and/or donating them to charities.

One of the early House members to reject pay, Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.), explains his position this way: "No small business would pay someone who refuses to do their job. So why should senators or House members be paid for failing to fulfill one of their most basic responsibilities? They shouldn't.''

RELATED: 19 in Congress who say they do not deserve to be paid

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Sean Sullivan | October 2, 2013