During shutdown, congressional pay strikes a nerve

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By AP

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Updated: Sat, 12 Oct 2013 09:17:14 EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — Take the money or not? That's the question many members of Congress are struggling with during the government shutdown. For many lawmakers who support their families on their government salary, withholding pay or donating it to charity can be difficult. But any lawmaker faces charges of being out of touch if he or she takes a paycheck while workers are furloughed and government services are curtailed. Dozens of lawmakers have made arrangements to have their salaries withheld or donated to charity. The Constitution bars lawmakers from withholding their own salary — they can only vote on the pay of future Congresses. But members can ask that their paychecks get delayed until the government reopens. GOP Rep. Lee Terry of Nebraska apologized after he dismissed fellow lawmakers who were forgoing pay.

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