Despite promises, Congressman Rokita appears to backtrack on donating shutdown pay

INDIANAPOLIS – Even though his Senate opponents have already donated their pay from the January government shutdown, Congressman Rokita has so far failed to respond to questions about whether he’s done the same, furthering speculation that he’s walked back his initial promise to do so.

A report yesterday in the Journal Gazette confirmed that Joe Donnelly and Congressman Messer had donated their pay from the three-day closure last month as promised. However, while Congressman Rokita had insisted that he’d do the same, he failed to answer yesterday whether he’d made good on that claim more than a month after the shutdown occurred.

Congressman Rokita’s refusal to donate his shutdown pay wouldn’t be shocking, given that he’s previously been hostile towards doing so. During the 2013 shutdown, Congressman Rokita not only kept his paycheck but went further and even said he deserved to be paid because he was “doing [his] job” by voting to shut down the government.

And while Congressman Rokita’s vocal support of “no budget, no pay” in campaign speeches may have prompted his public announcement to donate his pay this time around, it didn’t stop him from complaining about having to do so in an interview on Fox News during the shutdown, saying “frankly, I’ve been voting to keep the government open, so I’m not sure that I have to [donate].”

“Congressman Rokita told Hoosiers that he’d donate his shutdown paycheck, but it seems like that may have been just another empty promise from a career politician,” said Michael Feldman, spokesman for the Indiana Democratic Party. “Congressman Rokita has lived on a taxpayer-funded salary for so long he’s forgotten that Hoosier voters pay attention when Washington politicians like himself make hypocritical promises they have no intention of keeping.”

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