Rep. Reed Broke Promise to Return Shutdown Pay

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.



About pystew

Retired Teacher, political science geek, village trustee. I lean a little left, but like a good political discussion. My blog, the New NY 23rd (http://newny23rd) is about discussing the issues facing the people of our new congressional district. Let's hear all sides of the issues, not just what the candidates want us to hear.
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10 Responses to Rep. Reed Broke Promise to Return Shutdown Pay

  1. solodm says:

    Reed is a district embarrassment.. I suppose he’ll work really hard to make sure all those who were furloughed, and did not receive retroactive pay, be reimbursed? What a loser.


  2. whungerford says:

    I believe Tom was very careful to say he would not accept pay during the shutdown. A lawyer, he may have known he would be paid. He never said he would not accept back pay. He was asked on his facebook page repeatedly if he would donate his pay to charity, but never responded. The bills Tom introduced were political bills — Tom knew very well they would not become law.


  3. bob mcgill says:

    The most Tom could do was to ask not to be paid. There is no way for him to give the pay back. There is no provision in the system for such a thing. How do you now what will happen to the money, or did you give him a deadline ? If I were Tom I would show up at your house and burn the cash right in front of you !!!!


  4. bob mcgill says:

    my K Key sticks, wouldn’t want pystew to have a fit even though he makes more mistakes than I do !


  5. whungerford says:

    Since Tom took credit for not taking his pay even though he did take it, some think he ought to donate it to charity.


  6. Bob McGILL says:

    Do you really think Tom has time for a Facebook page ? Someone else probably takes care of it for him and can’t respond to the foolishness. Besides, who are you to damand an accounting ? For that matter, who are you to demand immediate action ?


  7. Anne says:

    William is a constituent, same as you, Bob. All of us have the right to expect Reed to be honest, moral and fair in his dealings; his record of saying this and doing that does not speak well to his character and of course, leaves little room to trust him on anything. Liars are just liars, and are rarely selective about the things they lie about. Where else is Reed being dishonest? (How about all the missing furniture from his first DC rental?) You begin to see the problem. If he’s dishonest about stupid little things like this, it’s a fair bet he’s being dishonest about bigger things, as well.


  8. Bob McGILL says:

    Now I understand, Tom sneaks into the apartment in the middle of the night all by himself and makes off with a bunch of stuff without being seen. He gets paid and you want him to run down to the nearest charity and hand over the money and immediately report back to you. ” Liars are just liars,” you say ? read some of the stuff on this blog and then tell me who is the liar ! Tom’s job is to compromise and negotiate with other members of government so his perspective has to change, unlike you who know everything and are unwavering in your position. He is not an autocrat ! But you are authoritarian !


  9. Anne says:

    Actually, I have yet to see a single instance of Tom’s perspective changing on anything. Also, I’m not the one earning my living off taxpayers’ dollars, nor was I put into office to represent the best interests of *all* my constituency (he fails pretty miserably at that, too). Authoritarian? Maybe according to my kids when they were little. I think the term you’re actually looking for is “disagrees with you.”


  10. Bob McGILL says:

    ” put into office to represent the best interests of *all* my constituency (he fails pretty miserably at that, too). ” says you ! As a resident of Seneca County Tom represents me and he is doing exactly as I want him to. So in this case he would have to be some where in the middle of you and me, wouldn’t he ?


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