Swalwell Accepted Pay from Government Shutdown After Pledging Not to Take It

CONGRESS | 15TH DISTRICT | The great government shutdown of 2013 lasted 16 days. While the Tea Party wing of the Republican Party obstructed the budget process in a bid to scuttle Obamacare, federal employees went without a paycheck last October. Over half of the House of Representatives, including the East Bay’s Rep. Eric Swalwell, pledged solidarity to government workers and said they would refuse their own paychecks until a new spending bill was approved.

However, KTVU reported Wednesday, Swalwell was actually paid roughly $4,700 earned during the shutdown, despite an attempt a day before the impasse to express sympathy for public workers. Conversely, South Bay Rep. Mike Honda did not make such a claim, reasoning he was still earning his pay while working for a resolution to the contentious budget fight.

In a letter sent last Sept. 30 to the Office of Chief Administrative Officer, Swalwell said, “I believe it is simply wrong and unfair for me to receive my salary while Americans working hard across the country as part of our federal workforce receive nothing until this appropriations crisis is resolved. Therefore, I ask that until federal employees who must work during a federal government shutdown are paid, I not be given my paycheck.”

According to the report other local politicians claimed to have donated their salary to charity. However, Swalwell is not one of the wealthiest members of Congress and may not be able to afford such philanthropy. In fact, upon election to Congress in January 2013, Swalwell, 34, told the San Francisco Chronicle he would maintain a roommate in both the Washington, D.C. area and Dublin.

Was the letter and pledge to withhold his salary simply a publicity stunt? Likely, since according to the 27th Amendment, congressional pay cannot vary. Swalwell even acknowledges it in his letter, saying, “However, it is my understanding that I, as a Member of Congress, will continue to receive a paycheck.” Meanwhile, it was incumbent on Swalwell to either give it back his pay to the U.S. Treasury or donate it to a charity of his choice. Instead, it went straight to personal bank account.

Categories: CA15, CD15, congress, Eric Swalwell, government shutdown, KTVU, Mike Honda, paycheck, public employees, Tea Party

53 replies

  1. March 12, 2014 at 12:30 PM Reply
    Shame on Swalwell for cutting off benefits for 1.7 million Americans. The extension of federal benefits was started by Bush and continued by both parties when the unemployment rate was this high.

    It's about real people, people with families struggling to meet mortgage payments, struggling to put food on the table, to make ends meet, and includes 200,000 military veterans among those folk who are losing their benefits.

    This is why my friends and I will be voting for Ellen Corbett this year….she has a heart and cares about the 90% of us who aren't rich too. Shame on Swalwell.


  2. Mrs. Miller and I will be supporting our outstanding CONGRESSMAN ERIC SWALWELL. We can't support novices who have no idea what they are doing and would be in above their head. We also would never support anyone who whores for the unions. The public knows that teachers and nurses' unions are nothing but whores for the special interests. They resonate with special interests only.

    We'll be supporting a breath of fresh air, CONGRESSMAN ERIC SWALWELL 2014!


  3. Go through this stream of posts and you will see most of the extremists, swearing, sexist remarks have been from Swallwell supporters, and that's why many of us will be supporting Ellen in 2014. Plus many of us feel that we need more women in Congress because of the stubbornness of both sides. Women seem to be able to compromise more and work toward solutions instead of calling people names.


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