Wy. delegation gives away pay earned during shutdown

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SHERIDAN — All three of Wyoming’s Congressional representatives have pledged to give away the portion of their salaries paid to them for the period of time the government was partially shut down in early October. Congressional pay during the funding disagreement was protected by the 27th Amendment of the Constitution, but Wyoming’s two Senators and one House representative have chosen to forego their pay.

Sen. Mike Enzi indicated in a media release and on social media in early October he would return his shutdown salary to the U.S. Treasury. The Sheridan Press followed up on Enzi’s proclamation, and spokesman Daniel Head produced an electronic copy of a check to the Clerk of the U.S. Senate from Enzi dated Nov. 4. The check was in the amount of $7,733.33. The memo line on the check reads, “Pay back money I earned during the shutdown.”

Sen. John Barrasso indicated via his spokesperson, Laura Mengelkamp, that he would donate the salary he earned during the government shutdown to his church and a number of Wyoming charities.

Mengelkamp declined to elaborate.

“In addition to the pubic volunteer work John and Bobbi do for Wyoming charities like the Boys and Girls Club, Wyoming Health Fairs, United Way and suicide prevention, they also financially support a number of other nonprofits,” Mengelkamp wrote in an email to The Sheridan Press. “They do, however, keep those financial contributions private.”

House Rep. Cynthia Lummis indicated in a press release she would donate 16 days’ worth of her salary to CLIMB Wyoming, a nonprofit organization that provides job training and placement for low-income single mothers in order to help them raise their standard of living.

CLIMB Wyoming Spokesperson Shannon Brooks Hamby confirmed Lummis’ statement was true, but declined to disclose the amount expected or received for donation.

Lummis spokesman Joe Spiering said the donation was for $5,000.

Hamby thanked Lummis for her donation.

“CLIMB Wyoming is very grateful for Congressman Lummis’ support of our statewide program to train and place low-income single mothers in careers that successfully support their families,” she said.

Rank -and-file members of the House and Senate are paid $173,000 per year.

During the 16-day shutdown, members of the Senate and House collected combined wages of more than $4.5 million.

By |November 7th, 2013|

About the Author:

Tracee Davis joined the staff at The Sheridan Press in July of 2013. She covers business, energy and public safety. Tracee grew up in Kemmerer and has lived in several locations both in the U.S. and overseas. Her journalism training stems from her military service.