Some suburban members of Congress say they'll forego pay

Updated 10/2/2013 8:02 AM

Some suburban members of Congress say they'll give back their salaries during the federal government shutdown or donate the money to charity.

Republican U.S. Reps. Randy Hultgren of Winfield and Peter Roskam of Wheaton and Democratic U.S. Rep. Brad Schneider of Deerfield say they'll give their salaries back. U.S. Rep. Bill Foster, a Naperville Democrat, says he'll give the money he's paid during the shutdown to the Northern Illinois Food Bank.


The lawmakers make the moves as both parties are deadlocked in a budget stalemate.

"In the real world, when people don't do their jobs, they don't get paid," Schneider said in a statement Tuesday. "Because some Republicans in Congress continue to hold fast to a narrow ideology they knew would force a shutdown, Congress is not doing its job to keep government functioning."

But Republicans say Democrats are refusing to deal, and Hultgren said he also furloughed most of his staff.

"Their refusal to negotiate and compromise threatens to extend this shutdown," Hultgren said of the Democratic-controlled U.S. Senate.

Roskam, part of the House GOP leadership team, wrote a simple letter declining his pay and pledging to work toward a solution. Foster's donation to charity comes with the argument that the shutdown could come with dire economic effects for some.

It's already clear the shutdown could have a political impact in 2014, and Schneider and Foster are expected to have the suburbs' two most hotly contested races for re-election.

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Schneider's 2014 opponent, former U.S. Rep. Bob Dold of Kenilworth, has tried to make an issue out of what he says is Democrats' unwillingness to bargain.

"Members of Congress were not sent to Washington to hold the American people hostage in a government shutdown to be used for political gain, but that is what the people of the 10th District are now experiencing with Brad Schneider," Dold said in a statement Monday evening as the clock ticked on the shutdown.

Some federal workers got furlough notices Tuesday morning, including civilians at Naval Station Great Lakes in the 10th Congressional District Dold and Schneider are both bidding for.

How long the shutdown lasts could have both real-life impact on workers there as well as political consequences next year.

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