Saturday, October 5, 2013

CNN Host Asks GOP Reps. If They'd Give Up Salaries During Shutdown

Prior to the government shutdown, which affects the pay of thousands of "non-essential" federal employees, CNN's Ashleigh Banfield asked Republican Representatives Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee and Dana Rohrabacher of California whether they would be willing to classify themselves as "non-essential" and stop payment on their $174,000 congressional salaries. The two danced around this simple, yes-or-no question regarding the consequences of a shutdown they support. Watch:

In the dialogue, Rohrabacher said that Congressional representatives were treated the same as other federal employees, sidestepping the fact that members of Congress are considered "essential":

BLACKBURN: We are waiting to see what they send back, and I hope that as you were running the countdown clock that you are I have two grandsons, and their share of the national debt is now over $53,000 each.
BANFIELD: No, no, no. I’m sorry. I asked a specific question, and there are a lot of the government workers going to stop receiving their paychecks, and a there are a lot of the military service members who are serving overseas who might be stopped being paid and veterans whose benefits will be affected. Would you —
ROHRABACHER: Let me answer that. Members of Congress should not be treated any differently than any other federal employee.
BANFIELD: Is that a yes?
ROHRABACHER: Whatever happens to us when it comes to what we get in benefits and whether it is retirement or health care and whatever happens to the average federal employee should happen to us, and that rule should not be changed.

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