Kansas Rep. Watkins not accepting salary during shutdown

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TOPEKA, Kan. — Kansas Rep. Steve Watkins is not accepting his congressional salary until the federal government fully reopens.

Watkins spokesman Jim Joice said Monday that the freshman Republican congressman began refusing his salary when he was sworn into office last week. Watkins and most members of Congress are paid $174,000 a year.

Parts of the federal government have been shut down since Dec. 22 because of a dispute over President Donald Trump’s demand for funding for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Watkins tweeted a 16-second video Friday showing him in the U.S. Capitol, saying he’s bothered by the shutdown because federal employees in Kansas aren’t getting paid. Watkins represents the 2nd District of eastern Kansas.

At the end of the video, Watkins declares, “If you don’t get paid, I don’t.”

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