Ga. congressmen forgo pay amid shutdown

Most Georgia congressmen are declining their pay or planning to donate it to charity amid the federal government shutdown.

Republican U.S. Reps. Paul Broun of Athens, Phil Gingrey of Marietta, Jack Kingston of Savannah, Austin Scott of Tifton, and Rob Woodall of Lawrenceville are refusing compensation while the government is closed. Democratic Rep. David Scott of Atlanta has agreed to do the same. Republican Rep. Tom Graves of Ranger is planning to follow suit. House and Senate members are paid $174,000 annually.

“Rep. Gingrey is declining compensation for the duration of the government shutdown and will contribute those wages to the U.S. Treasury for debt reduction,” said Jen Talaber, a spokeswoman for Gingrey.

The Washington Post reported Wednesday afternoon that Gingrey and his Georgia colleagues are among 75 federal lawmakers who have said they plan to donate or refuse compensation during the shutdown. That count includes a few members who already donate their salary to charity, The Post reported.

Republican Rep. Lynn Westmoreland of Coweta County is cosponsoring legislation that would halt congressional pay during the shutdown. He is also furloughing some of his staff.

Rep. John Barrow, an Augusta Democrat, and Rep. Doug Collins, a Gainesville Republican, are planning to donate their pay to charities.

A spokesman for Democratic Rep. Sanford Bishop of Albany said the congressman “is working to end this government shutdown, so he has decided to keep his paycheck.”

Spokesmen for U.S. Sens. Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson and U.S. Reps. Hank Johnson and Tom Price did not immediately respond to requests for comment Wednesday afternoon. A spokeswoman for Democratic Rep. John Lewis said she was looking into the matter.

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