Rep. Harris Plans to Donate Wages Earned During Shutdown to Charity
Federal programs, including the military and Social Security, could be left without funding starting at midnight tonight.
Republican Rep. Andy Harris announced he would donate any wages earned during a potential government shutdown to charity.
If the U.S. Congress does not pass a new operating budget by midnight Friday, funding for several federal programs could expire. During a shutdown, many federal workers would be asked to stay home from work without pay. Members of the military, and other workers deemed "essential personnel," would be forced to work without pay.
Members of Congress, however, would continue to be paid their regular wages during the shutdown. The current default salary of members of the House of Representatives is $174,000, according to the United States House of Representative's website.
In a Friday afternoon press release, Harris said he supported a bill that would delay legislators' salary in the case of a government shutdown. The bill was rejected in the Senate.
Opponents argued that based on the 27th Amendment, members of Congress cannot make any salary changes before an election has occurred.
"Because federal employees and our service men and women don't get paid during a possible government shutdown, neither should I," Harris said. "I plan to donate my earnings during the potential shutdown to a worthy charity."
Harris represents Maryland's 1st congressional district, which includes the entire Eastern Shore, as well as parts of Anne Arundel, Baltimore and Harford counties. The former senator in the state General Assembly was elected to Congress in the November 2010.