This is a news release from George Koustos of Martha Robertson for NY Campaign
Ahead of the government shut down, Congressman Tom Reed introduced legislation that, if passed, would have forced Members of Congress and Administration Officials to forfeit their pay. On October 3, 2013 Congressman Reed stated that he would not accept pay in the event of a government shut down.
Dryden, NY – In a stunning act of double talk, Congressman Tom Reed decimated a promise he made repeatedly to voters of NY’s 23rd Congressional District. Reed, who voted multiple times to shut the U.S. Government down for 16 days and then voted against the bipartisan compromise that re-opened the government, vowed he would not accept any pay while the government was shut down.
Reed even went so far as to introduce legislation that would have prohibited Congress from getting paid during or after the shut down. Yesterday, however, Reed’s spokesperson acknowledged that “while he requested that the salary be withheld, he never vowed to return it if were paid to him.” Reed accepted his full paycheck on October 25th.
Congressional candidate Martha Robertson lamented Reed’s broken promises, saying “Tom Reed was dead wrong to hold the government hostage for 16 days, costing the American economy $24 billion. Promising to give back his pay was a gesture that he thought would make himself look good, but breaking that promise exposes him as a typical Washington insider who will say anything to get re-elected.”
“Tom Reed’s cynical broken promises are what cause voters to lose confidence in Congress in general and him in particular. It is time for honest representation,” Robertson added.
On November 19th, 2013, the Buffalo News reported that Reed’s spokesperson, Elizabeth Shaffer, “acknowledged that Reed had not reimbursed the federal government for the money he earned during the October government shutdown, even though he had asked the House’s chief administrative officer to withhold his pay during the shutdown […] Reed’s spokesperson noted that while he requested that the salary be withheld, he never vowed to return it if were paid to him.”
On September 19, 2013 Congressman Tom Reed introduced “Pay our Veterans and Seniors First Act”. In a press release following the bill’s introduction, Reed stated, “There is no reason why Congress and the Administration should be paid if the government is shut down.”
Reed’s Bill Would Have Prohibited Members of Congress From Receiving Retroactive Pay from the Shutdown
According to the text of Reed’s “Pay Our Veterans and Seniors First Act:”
“(a) In General- A Member of Congress, the President, the Vice President, and the head of any Executive department shall not receive basic pay for any period in which there is more than a 24-hour lapse in appropriations for any Executive agency as a result of a failure to enact a regular appropriations bill or continuing resolution.
(b) Retroactive Pay Prohibited- No pay forfeited in accordance with subsection (a) may be paid retroactively.” [HR 3152, introduced 9/19/13]
On October 3, 2013 Congressman Reed went a step further. According to WRFA, Reed announced that he would not accept pay during the shutdown. The report stated “Chautauqua County’s Congressman says he won’t accept a paycheck while the government is shut down. Congressman Tom Reed (R-Corning) released a statement on Wednesday, saying that Congress has a job to do and if it can’t complete one of its primary responsibilities, it doesn’t deserve to get a paycheck”.
According to the Washington Post, Members of Congress have earned $174,000 annually since 2009.
The U.S. Government was shut down for 16 days. During that period of time, Members of Congress were paid $476 per day, adding up to a total of $7,627 from October 1 to October 16.