Only a few senators are planning to forfeit a portion of their salaries to charity or the U.S. Treasury while sequestration is in effect, according to a survey conducted by The Hill.
The Senate last month passed a measure urging members of the upper chamber to forgo 20 percent of their salary during sequestration. Most senators, however, are keeping quiet on whether they will follow through.
During a marathon session of budget votes, the Senate approved by voice vote an amendment from Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) calling on lawmakers to donate 20 percent of their pay to charity or return it to the U.S. Treasury.
In his floor speech, Graham noted that about 500,000 to 600,000 federal employees will be furloughed because of sequestration and that senators should “feel what other people are feeling.”
Yet in a survey of Senate offices by The Hill, only Graham and Sens. Mark Begich (D-Alaska), Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) have indicated they would give up some of their take-home pay.
In a recent press release, Begich — who is up for reelection in 2014 — said he will be voluntarily returning a portion of his salary to the Treasury this year.
Several other senators said they already donate generously to charity, while the majority of offices gave no response at all.
Senators make $174,000 annually. To fully comply with the Graham measure for a complete calendar year, members would return $34,000 to charity or the Treasury. To most people, that’s a lot of money; but for some members, that is chump change. About half of the lawmakers in Congress are millionaires
Read more: http://thehill.com/