Congress Should Donate Their Salaries to Charity

Members of Congress, according to my sources, are not deemed “unessential,” and are constitutionally required to receive pay during a shutdown because of a provision that limits their ability to change their own pay.* So while Representatives and Senators cannot be forced to work for nothing, in deference to the hundreds of thousands of federal employees now on furlough, we CAN ask them to donate their salaries to non-profit organizations for the duration of the government shutdown.** Please join me in contacting your members of Congress to implore them to donate their pay to charities to help people negatively impacted by the furlough.

To email your Representative, type your Representative’s last name followed by .house.gov, or go to: http://www.house.gov/ and enter your zip code in the upper right hand corner. This will lead you to a map of your area and your Representative’s name. 

To contact your Senator, go to: http://www.senate.gov/ and search for your state in the upper right hand corner, click on it, and your two Senators names will appear. Click on the appropriate name and continue to send your letter by email. Or you can type http://www.senate. (TYPE YOUR SENATOR’S LAST NAME HERE).gov 

To write a letter to the President of the United States, go to: http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact

Here is the USA.GOV Web site information: What’s Affected by a Government Shutdown?

Below, find an overview of some of the government services and operations that will be impacted until Congress passes a budget to fund them again. For detailed information about specific activities at Federal agencies, please see federal government contingency plans.

  • Vital services that ensure seniors and young children have access to healthy food and meals may not have sufficient Federal funds to serve all beneficiaries in an extended lapse.
  • Call centers, hotlines and regional offices that help veterans understand their benefits will close to the public.
  • Veterans’ compensation, pension, education, and other benefits could be cut off in the case of an extended  shutdown.
  • Every one of America’s national parks and monuments, from Yosemite to the Smithsonian to the Statue of Liberty, will be immediately closed.
  • New applications for small business loans and loan guarantees will be immediately halted.
  • Research into life-threatening diseases and other areas will stop, and new patients won’t be accepted into clinical trials at the National Institutes of Health.
  • Work to protect consumers, ranging from child product safety to financial security to the safety of hazardous waste facilities, will cease. The EPA will halt non-essential inspections of chemical facilities and drinking water systems.
  • Permits and reviews for planned energy and transportations projects will stop, preventing companies from working on these projects. Loans to rural communities will be halted.
  • Hundreds of thousands of Federal employees including many charged with protecting us from terrorist threats, defending our borders, inspecting our food, and keeping our skies safe will work without pay until the shutdown  ends.
  • Hundreds of thousands of additional federal workers will be immediately and indefinitely furloughed without pay.

Services That Will Continue During the Government Shutdown

  • Social Security beneficiaries will continue receiving checks.
  • The U.S. Postal Service will keep delivering mail.
  • Active military will continue serving.
  • Air traffic controllers, prison guards, and border patrol agents will remain on the job.
  • NASA Mission Control will continue supporting astronauts serving on the Space Station.       

*http://www.cnn.com/2013/09/30/politics/shutdown-congress-staff-paid/index.html

** http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2013/10/01/which-lawmakers-will-refuse-their-pay-during-the-shutdown/ 

Thank you.

Kathy Galgano

October 2, 2013 

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