Letter: Begich furloughs most of staff, giving salary to charity

October 8, 2013 

Like most Alaskans, I’m angry and frustrated by the unnecessary federal government shutdown. The U.S. House can end this in 15 minutes by voting on the Senate-approved budget bill, without trying to impose the extremist policies of a few on the entire country.

I sympathize with the 13,000 Alaskan federal employees, most of whom are directly affected by layoffs, and the many more families and businesses hurt in the shutdown. I don’t believe Congress should be exempt, so I’ve furloughed about 85 percent of my own staff and am donating my salary for every day of the shutdown to an Alaska charity.

I’m also co-sponsoring the “no budget, no pay” bill, which prohibits any member of Congress from getting paid when the government is shut down or defaults on our debts.

Meanwhile, as a member of the Appropriations Committee, I’m working every day to end the shutdown. I’m bending the arms of Democrats and Republicans in both the House and Senate to let common sense prevail and focus on getting America’s economy back on track.

— Mark Begich, U.S. Senator 

Anchorage

 

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