Lawmakers give up their paychecks in support of federal workers

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- It's day three of the U.S. government shutdown and that means thousands of federal employees stayed home on Thursday without pay.  And there's no telling how long the shutdown will last.

Nationwide there are 800,000 federal employees (39,000 in Missouri) who will not be receiving their paychecks until the shutdown is resolved.

Some lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have decided to have their pay withheld to show their support of the federal employees.

FOX 4 News spoke to Missouri Rep. Vicky Hartzler's (R - 4th District.) office and they confirmed the Harrisonville lawmaker is having her pay withheld in support.

Missouri Rep. Bill Long, R - 7th District, has also asked that his pay be withheld.

On the Kansas side, Rep. Lynn Jenkins, R - 2nd District, posted on her Facebook page a letter she wrote asking that her pay be withheld.

Missouri Rep. Jason Smith, R - 8th District, said he will give the money back to the U.S. Treasury once he receives any missed checks.

Sen. Claire McCaskill, D - Mo., has said she might make a charitable contribution with her check.

A spokesperson for Missouri Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D - 5th District, said he will not be accepting his paycheck

Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo. is not giving up his paycheck, but said he doesn't want to comment on whether lawmakers giving up their checks is a publicity stunt.  But according to USA Today, Blunt said, "I don't think it matters at all.  And I think it`s a silly conversation to have."

Blunt noted that Congress has failed to deal with major tasks, such as passing the annual appropriations bills, which have helped create the current crisis.

At this time, it's not clear whether federal workers will receive back pay.  That will be be decided by Congress once things are resolved.

The total number of Democrats and Republicans in Congress giving up their paychecks is split about even.   Members of Congress are paid on the last business day of the month, which was Monday.  They are not due to receive another paycheck until Oct. 31.

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