Government shutdown: Which SWFL lawmakers have refused their pay?
Photo: Video by fox4now.com
FORT MYERS, Fla. - While up to 800,000 federal employees were sent home today without pay, are the very people who shut down the government still getting their paychecks?
While congress triggers a shutdown, hundreds of federal employees in southwest Florida are feeling the fallout.
"We have a job to do and the best way to do it is to show up and be efficient," said Eric Milbrandt, with the the director of the marine laboratory at the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation. "And this is not very efficient."
And as your elected officials aim for efficiency, are they getting paid? And what about their staff? Fox 4 worked the phones to find out.
A spokesman said Congressman Trey Radel has requested that his be withheld. But while the offices are open, staff is bracing for furloughs.
Representative Mario Diaz-Balart says he too asked to not receive pay. Ten of his 16 staffers are out of work.
In an e-mail, Congressman Vern Buchanan says he "Wouldn't accept any salary while the government is shut down." No word on how his offices may be affected. A staffer answered when Fox 4 called but referred all questions to a spokesman.
Congressman Tom Rooney said he asked to not be paid. No word on staff jobs.
What about our senators? a spokesman for Republican Marco Rubio didn't answer whether he's forgoing a paycheck. But he said Rubio's crew of 57 staffers is down to just 7 because of the government shutdown.
As for southwest Florida's only democratic representation in DC, Senator Bill Nelson's state offices are closed and most of his Washington employees are furloughed. How about his salary? In a statement, Senator Nelson said, "I'm not shutting down. I'm going to keep fighting."