President Obama's decision to return 5 percent of his salary to the U.S. Treasury in show of solidarity with federal workers might make folks wonder whether Congress will do the same.
Members of the House and Senate earn $174,000 annually and haven’t voted to raise their salaries since 2009, knowing that increasing their paychecks would only make them more unpopular with the general public. Several lawmakers, many of them independently wealthy, donate considerable portions of their congressional pay to charity or back to the U.S. Treasury.
Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), a double amputee and Iraq war veteran, was first to announce in late February that she planned to donate part of her earnings in protest of $85 billion in automatic spending cuts known as the sequester. Duckworth plans to return to the U.S. Treasury 8.4 percent of her monthly salary for each month that Congress fails to avert the cuts.