Senator Baldwin Foregoing the Foregoing
Count Senator Tammy Baldwin among those keeping the money earned during the shutdown.
Baldwin's office confirmed to me that while she pledged to "forego" her salary during the period, what she meant was... she wouldn't accept pay during that time, but that when it was over, she would accept her full salary.
Here's the comment I received from her press office, "She never said she would donate or return her pay. She agreed to forego her pay while the government was shutdown and now that the government shutdown has ended and the government is reopened, she will accept her pay for her work during the shutdown."
During the government shutdown, TODAY'S TMJ4 reached out to every member of the Congressional Delegation from Southeast Wisconsin. Smarting from low approval ratings and voter frustration, members of Congress across the Country began pledging to give back, or donate their pay for the duration of the shutdown. So we polled our Reps and Senators.
Congresswoman Gwen Moore was the only one from our area to flat out say she was going to get paid. The others, including Senator Baldwin, pledged to forego their salaries, return them to the treasury, or donate them to charity.
Something we don't do real well sometimes in media is follow up. It's a fair criticism. We lose touch with stories and when the public moves on... so do we. Well, in this case, I took it upon myself to re-poll the delegation and I was surprised at the response I got from Senator Baldwin's office. I bet many people assumed, as I did, that when she said "forego" she meant... "wouldn't take." Guess not.
Here's where I'm at with other members of the delegation:
Senator Ron Johnson's office announced the Senator wrote a check for more than $7,000 to the U.S. Treasury, essentially forfeiting his salary.
Congressman Tom Petri's office claims he still plans donate 16 days worth of salary to charities in his district. He has not decided which ones.
Congressman Paul Ryan's office tells me he also is still planning to donate but has not done so yet. He will not be publicly announcing the charities to which he will give... though I am going to ask again.
Haven't heard back from Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner's office of yet. Will report to you when I do.