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Many Missouri Lawmakers Refusing Congressional Pay During Shutdown

Creighton Hayes, KMOX State Capitol Bureau
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(MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images)

(MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images)

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMOX) - Some Missouri lawmakers in Washington D.C are refusing their congressional pay during the government shutdown.

Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill, and Republican Representatives Vicky Hartzler, Jason Smith and Ann Wagner have openly stated that they will not accept compensation during the closure.

In a statement on his website, Representative Jason Smith of Missouri’s Eighth district said “I have asked for my congressional salary to be withheld during the government shutdown and I urge my colleagues to do the same.”

A spokeswoman for Senator McCaskill said she would donate her earnings to charity.

Members of the House and Senate earn $174,000 annually, nearly $477 a day.

Over 800,000 federal employees were forced to go home without pay Tuesday afternoon when all non-essential employees and programs were temporarily discontinued. These workers will not be payed for the entire duration of the closure.

However, members of Congress and the president, whose gridlock forced the federal shutdown, will continued to be paid as stated under law.

The funds necessary to pay lawmakers are mandatory and authorized by the U.S. Constitution they do not require annual appropriations.

“Members of Congress are no better than anyone else … It’s just not fair for me or any other Member of Congress to receive special treatment,” said Smith.

Smith’s attitude toward congressional pay during the government impasse has gained support as the shutdown prolongs.

“Congress didn’t get the job done and those who make the laws should live by the law,” said Representative Ann Wagner.

As of Wednesday afternoon, at least 91 D.C. lawmakers have said the will donate or refuse their earnings during the shutdown.

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