What took Congressman Rokita so long to donate his paycheck from January’s government shutdown?

Announcement of donation yesterday comes more than a week after campaign ignores Journal Gazette inquiry

INDIANAPOLIS – Congressman Rokita finally donated his paycheck from January’s three-day government shutdown, over a month after promising he’d do so, and 10 days after dodging questions from reporters about whether he’d actually followed through.

The Rensselaer Republican reported yesterday that Congressman Rokita contributed his pay of $940 from January’s government shutdown to three organizations. More than six weeks have elapsed since the shutdown’s end, and it’s unclear what the delay was due to.

Congressman Rokita’s delay is even more notable after he was caught dodging the question as to whether he’d donated his pay. The Journal Gazette confirmed on February 26 that both Joe Donnelly and Congressman Messer had donated their pay from the three-day closure as promised. However, while Congressman Rokita had claimed in January that he’d do the same, he dodged the question as to whether he had for ten days until yesterday’s Republican article.

Given Congressman Rokita’s history of hostility towards donating his pay during shutdowns, not keeping his word wouldn’t come as a surprise. During the 2013 shutdown, Congressman Rokita not only kept his paycheck but defended the practice, saying he deserved to be paid because he was “doing [his] job” by voting to shut down the government.

“Why did it take Congressman Rokita six weeks – and ten days after receiving a public inquiry – to get rid of his shutdown pay? Is it because he simply didn’t expect to get caught not following through on his promises?,” said Michael Feldman, spokesman for the Indiana Democratic Party. “Congressman Rokita has claimed politicians who can’t pass a balanced budget shouldn’t get paid, but when it comes to his own paycheck – just like the others he’s received from taxpayers for 20 years – he’ll make hypocritical promises to Hoosiers that he doesn’t intend to keep.”