Florida lawmakers say they'll give up pay if shutdown happens
Finally, something Republicans and Democrats can agree on today in Washington: Taking a paycheck during a shutdown would be a bad P.R. move.
So as party leaders fight over the cause of the budget stalemate, individual lawmakers are announcing their intentions to forgo their pay if a shutdown occurs. A sampling from Florida:
Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson says he'll give his pay to charity. Same with Republican Sen. Marco Rubio. Ditto for Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Tampa. Rep. Rich Nugent, R-Brooksville, says he'll give his to Blue Star Moms, a group that supports military families. Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R-Palm Harbor, said his would go to Operation Helping Hand in Tampa. Rank-and-file House members and senators make $174,000 a year.
Elsewhere, Republican House Speaker John Boehner has said he'll reject his pay, a position shared by Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid.
The real losers? Legislative and other government employees. There's no guarantee they would get back pay if the government ceases to operate. (Members of the military would get back pay.)