Some Wisconsin representatives give up salary during shutdown

CREATED Oct 1, 2013 - UPDATED: Oct 2, 2013

  • Print
  • Play
  • Play
  • Video by wtmj.com

    Play
  • Video by wtmj.com

    Play

MILWAUKEE - Day one of the government shutdown and it looks like Congress is no closer to reaching a deal.

President Obama blamed Republicans for the shutdown. But the GOP says Democrats have slammed the door on talks.  
 
Either way, 800,000 federal workers have been laid off.
 
The President and Congress are getting paid during the shutdown. 
 
TODAY'S TMJ4 viewers have been asking what Wisconsin lawmakers are doing with their paychecks. 
 
More than 35,000 people viewed our Sound Off question on Facebook asking if Congress and the President should get paid.
 
We reached out to Senators Johnson and Baldwin and we tried talking directly to House members from our area.
 
Members of Congress don't have to worry about getting paid during a government shutdown. 
 
That's because their $174,000 a year paycheck is protected by law but they can't voluntarily give up their pay. 
 
Senators Johnson and Baldwin say they'll forgo their pay during the shutdown.
 
In the House, Representatives Ryan and Petri will donate their pay, Sensenbrenner will forgo his.
Congresswoman Moore said in a statement that she "will not be donating or forgoing" her salary.
 
Senator Johnson was the only who talked to TODAY'S TMJ4.
 
"I will certainly donate my salary while the government is shut down."  
 
800,000 federal workers including hundreds in Wisconsin don't have that option. 
 
Senator Johnson hopes they'll be back to work soon.
 
"I think we can get through this pretty quick because I don't know any Republicans that want this to go on. I didn't know anybody going in who wanted to shutdown the government."