Rep. John Garamendi, D-Walnut Grove, will donate to charity the salary he is paid during the partial federal government shutdown, according to a spokesman.
At least 121 other lawmakers from both parties — including Sens. Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, both D-Calif. — have said they will either refuse or donate their pay, according to the Washington Post.
Members of Congress continue to be paid during the shutdown because their salaries are not discretionary spending, dependent on annual appropriations. Rather, their jobs are authorized by the U.S. Constitution and are paid with mandatory funds.
Boxer has introduced bills that would prohibit the president and Congress from being paid in case of a shutdown, most recently in January. Two years ago, the bill received approval from the Senate, but not the House.
Rank-and-file members of Congress earn $174,000 annually. Those in leadership positions are paid more. The average net worth of a member of Congress stood at $442,007 in 2012, according to the newspaper Roll Call.
The nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics estimated Feinstein’s net worth in 2011 at more than $42.8 million (fifth in the Senate), Boxer’s at more than $1.2 million (40th), and Garamendi’s at more than $2.4 million (43rd in the House).
Garamendi’s staff continues to go to work “with the expectation of eventually getting retroactively paid,” according to spokesman Matthew Kravitz.
It will be up to Congress to approve pay for furloughed workers. It did so after the last government shutdown, 17 years ago.
Feinstein will give her salary to the Consortium of Catholic Academies. Neither Garamendi nor Boxer have said which charity they will support.