Fresno Rep. Jim Costa tells House paymaster ‘don’t pay me during the shutdown’

Rep. Jim Costa, D-Fresno, said he does not want to get a paycheck during the government shutdown because federal employees aren’t getting paid.

Costa wrote a letter Thursday to the chief administrative officer of the House of Representatives stating “I kindly request that my salary be withheld” during the shutdown.

“Hundreds of thousands of federal employees are either furloughed or required to work without pay,” he wrote in the letter dated Jan. 3. “There should not be special rules for Members of Congress, and just like the affected employees, I ask that my pay be suspended as well.”

Members of Congress still get paid during a government shutdown, but staffers and other federal employees do not.

Among the federal employees required to work are those who work at the federal prison in Mendota and the prison in Atwater.

In a news release Wednesday, Costa said he was again co-sponsoring two bills that “make clear that members of Congress should not get paid unless we do our jobs, including passing a budget and keeping the government open.”

The bills are sponsored by Rep. Jim Cooper, D-Tennessee, and Rep. Kurt Schrader, D-Oregon, he said. Along with Costa, they are members of the so-called Blue Dog Coalition, also known as Blue Dog Democrats, who have a reputation as centrists.

There are reportedly 24 Blue Dog Democrats in the new Congress.

Costa voted in favor of two appropriations bills Thursday aimed at reopening the government.

Lewis Griswold: 559-441-6104, @fb_LewGriswold
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