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Lawmakers giving up salaries during government shutdown

PARKERSBURG – At least six local members of Congress from Ohio and West Virginia aren’t taking a salary while the government is in partial shut down.

Rep. David McKinley, R-W.Va., Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Ohio, and Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, have had their salary withheld or are donating it during the shutdown.

McKinley requested the withholding on Dec. 22 when the shutdown began at midnight.

“It is my understanding that during a partial lapse in appropriations for funding the federal government, members of Congress will continue to receive their salary,” McKinley said in a letter to Philip G. Kiko, chief administrative officer for the House of Representatives. “Given that there has been a partial government shutdown beginning midnight on Dec. 22, 2018, please withhold my salary until the lapse in appropriations ends.”

Manchin, the only Democrat in the West Virginia congressional delegation, is donating his salary to food banks in the state, spokesman Katey McCutcheon Tuesday said.

“If Congress cannot do our job, we should not get paid. As a result of this reckless shutdown, 340,000 West Virginians who depend on food stamps will go without that critical assistance. Children will go hungry, pregnant mothers will not get the nutrients they need and our elderly neighbors will not have dinner on the table,” Manchin said in a statement. “This is unacceptable. In West Virginia, we look out for one another and I know food banks across the state will be doing their best to fill this void. I applaud them for always stepping up to serve their communities.”

Manchin donated his salary to Save the Chidren during the 2013 shutdown.

Portman asked that his salary be withheld, spokesman Kevin Smith said.

“Yes he has,” Smith said.

Johnson said he has consistently voted to fund the government and secure the southern border, which he called “an issue of national importance.”

“If this partial government shutdown lasts through the end of January, I have requested that the Chief Administrator Officer of the House withhold my monthly pay,” Johnson said.

Capito in previous shutdowns has donated her salary to charities and she plans to do the same this time, her office said.

“Sen. Brown will be forgoing his pay while the government is shut down and he will continue fighting for federal workers, including the thousands of contract workers like custodians, cafeteria workers, and security guards who may not receive any back pay at all,” Jennifer Donohue, Brown’s communications director, said. “He is calling on President Trump and Mitch McConnell to reopen the government immediately so these Americans can get back to work earning a paycheck and serving the public.”

Messages for comment from Rep. Carol Miller, R-W.Va., and Rep. Alex Mooney, R-W.Va., were not immediately returned.

Representatives and senators are paid $174,000 a year. Leadership positions pay more.

Dan Weiser, communications director for the House Office of the Chief Administrative Officer, said who or how many representatives have deferred their salaries would not be released by the office.

At least three dozen have been identified by national press sources.

About 800,000 federal employees are impacted by the shutdown. The first payday since the shutdown started will be on Friday.

The National Treasury Employees Union Chapter 190 in Parkersburg will hold a rally to end the partial government shutdown from noon-1 p.m. today at Bicentennial Park adjacent to the courthouse and municipal building in Parkersburg.

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