Connecticut lawmakers donate salaries to charity

Washington — With Congress’ approval ratings at an all-time low and their staffs furloughed or working without pay, dozens of lawmakers – including some from Connecticut – plan to donate the salaries they earn during the federal government shutdown to charity.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., plans to give his wages to the Wounded Warrior Project, a group that helps badly injured troops transition to civilian life.

Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-3rd District, plans to donate her salary to a reading program  named after her and other programs at The New Haven Foundation.

Rep. Elizabeth Esty, D-5th District, has vowed to donate her pay to a charity, too, she just doesn’t know which one.

“She’s still deciding,” said Esty spokesman Jeb Fain. “She’s looking at several veterans’ charities.”

Rank-and-file lawmakers will get paid $174,000 this year, or about $476 a day.

Rep. John Larson, D-1st District, is undecided about what he will do with his pay, a spokesman said.

Rep. Joe Courtney, D-2nd District, plans to donate “a portion” of his salary to a charity. He  did not say how much. On Tuesday, Courtney co-sponsored a bill that would make sure federal employees who are furloughed or working without pay receive back salaries when the shutdown ends.  

Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., is a definite “no” and will keep his pay. Murphy is one of the poorest members of the Senate.

Rep. Jim Himes, D-4th District, said he would also give away his salary.

The 27th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution requires the U.S. Treasury to continue to pay members of Congress during a shutdown, even as the federal government can’t pay for most other expenses.