House Republican Refuses to Defer Pay During Shutdown, Says “I Need My Paycheck”

renee_ellmersIf you ever wanted a perfect example of Republicans just not “getting it,” look no further than North Carolina Representative Renee Ellmers, who said that she definitely would not be deferring her paycheck (as some members of Congress have done) during the government shutdown.

Rep. Ellmers said:

“I need my paycheck. That’s the bottom line.  I understand that there may be some other members who are deferring their paychecks, and I think that’s admirable. I’m not in that position.”

Now she may very well need her paycheck — I’m not doubting that.  But then so do the over 800,000 Americans the government shutdown has put on furlough who might not be receiving theirs.

But I guess it’s nice to need your paycheck and still be getting it.  That’s not something hundreds of thousands of Americans can say right now thanks to the right-wing antics going on in Congress.

To be fair, Rep. Ellmers isn’t the only one in Congress who’s opting to receive pay during the shutdown.  There are plenty of others, both Democrats and Republicans, who are choosing to collect their paycheck.  If you ask me, none of them should be paid for not doing their job — which is why they should pass Democratic Rep. Rick Nolan’s “No Government, No Pay” act (but they probably won’t).

The lives of thousands hang in the balance right now while people like Rep. Ellmers simply prove they don’t get it.  Her official website lists her husband as a general surgeon.  Now what exactly does a general surgeon make, you ask?  Well, according to CNNMoney, the median pay for one comes in around $216,000 per year, with some making over $400,000.

So, even with just her husband’s salary, based on the information listed on her official site, they rank in the top 2 percent of Americans as far as income goes—but she “needs” her paycheck.

Well, if she needs it so badly, maybe it’s time she started speaking out against this Republican temper tantrum which has shut our government down.  Maybe she should publicly state that John Boehner needs to let the House vote on the Senate’s resolution (which would easily pass if he did) so the government could be reopened almost immediately.

Because while the wife of a general surgeon making six-figures might need her paycheck, so do the hundreds of thousands of American workers who might not be paid come their next payday thanks to this ridiculous Republican-forced government shutdown.

Which is something these Republicans simply don’t seem to understand.  This shutdown isn’t a game.  There are thousands of Americans that face an uncertain future due to the antics that are being pushed by a handful of tea party-backed Republicans and their cowardly Speaker of the House, John Boehner.

But it’s okay, they still get paid.  Who cares about the 800,000 who might not, right?

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


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