I am holding out hope that the government shutdown is close to being ended and that the bickering parties will strike a deal to raise the nation’s debt limit.
Before all that happens, I want to vent one more time against those lawmakers — and even the president and vice president — who continue to draw their pay while taking measures that send other federal employees home without pay.
Some of our members of Congress have done the right thing. U.S. Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., for example has donated his salary to food distribution organizations in his home state. He declared that Americans shouldn’t go hungry while a portion of their government has been shuttered.
There have been others of both parties and I salute them all for doing what I believe is the noble thing.
My own congressman, Republican Mac Thornberry of Clarendon? He’s still getting paid. Hmmm. I am guessing a man of his means isn’t exactly living off his $174,000 annual salary.
I am acutely aware that House members, senators and executive branch leaders surrendering their salaries for a brief period of time won’t balance the budget, it won’t bring us closer to good fiscal health and it won’t settle this dispute between the parties.
However, I’ve long respected those who lead by example. We elect these people to lead, to make tough decisions on our behalf and to demonstrate that they are men and women of their word.
One way to demonstrate their commitment is to share in the pain their decisions are having on others.
Giving up a few weeks’ pay is one of those ways.