This came in from Lindsey Graham this afternoon:
Graham To Refuse Pay, Close Offices, Furlough Staff During Government Shutdown
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made this announcement on how his Senate office will function, should the Congress and President fail to come to agreement on the federal budget by midnight. Each Member of Congress is responsible for establishing their procedures for operation during a government shutdown.
- Senator Graham will refund his salary to the Federal Treasury for the time the government remains shutdown.
- Senator Graham’s offices in Columbia, Florence, Greenville, Mount Pleasant, Pendleton, Rock Hill, and Washington will be closed during the shutdown.
- Senator Graham’s staff — both in Washington and South Carolina — will be furloughed and placed on unpaid leave.
“I will refund my salary to the Bureau of the Public Debt within the U.S. Department of Treasury,” said Graham. “Our brave men and women serving in uniform will not get paid during the shutdown. I believe Members of Congress should think twice about putting their way of life before those who fight to protect it.
“I’m disappointed Democrats in Congress and President Obama have not agreed to our very reasonable requests for spending reductions,” said Graham. “What we’re seeking is belt-tightening at the federal level, a practice millions of Americans have already gone through. It’s long past time we get our nation’s fiscal house in order. The essence of our proposal is to take spending back to 2008 levels plus inflation. Our proposal is by no means extreme.
“I’m very proud of my staffers who deliver high-quality constituent services to the people of South Carolina,” said Graham. “It’s a tradition I’ve tried to carry over from Senator Thurmond. However, I cannot justify having the offices open during a government shutdown when the staff will be unable to meaningfully help people.
“Therefore, my staffers will be furloughed without pay,” said Graham. “I truly believe with the government shut down, we can’t deliver services to the people of South Carolina in a way to justify the expense. In light of those facts, closing the office and furloughing the staff is the fiscally-responsible step to take.”
Of course, I went without pay for about nine months not so long ago. I suppose I could tell these folks to buck up, that it’s a character-building experience. But I know better. I know that it’s just a lousy situation. And it’s caused by polticos in Washington acting like children over the budget. (And no, senator; it’s not just the Democrats failing to be “reasonable.”)
I heard some highamuckymuck on the radio today pontificating on the subject, saying that the disagreement came down to one thing: spending.
And I’m like duh, yeah, I guess so — seeing as how it’s the budget we’re talking about here. Congrats on figuring that out, Einstein.