Some in Congress from Md. take pay cuts in sequester solidarity
Given the federal government's presence in Maryland, the state's congressional members tend to be among the most ardent supporters of the federal workforce on Capitol Hill. So last week, when President Barack Obama and members of his Cabinet said they would give up part of their salaries to stand in solidarity with federal employees being furloughed under the $85 billion in budget cuts known as sequestration, the delegation faced a potentially uncomfortable question: Would they do likewise? Giving back pay is a symbolic gesture. But in this case, it was symbolism promoted by the president -- who will return 5 percent of his $400,000 annual salary to the Treasury Department -- and several lawmakers of both parties. Lawmakers earn $174,000 a year. As many as 1 million federal workers could be furloughed nationwide. In Maryland, the most significant impact could come from the Pentagon, which plans to require furloughs of civilian employees, including as many as 45,000 in the state. The Baltimore Sun contacted Maryland's congressional delegation -- who together represent more than 300,000 federal workers -- to ask if they would take the president's lead. The answers were mixed.
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Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, D-Baltimore County
Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger Vowed to give an unspecified portion of his pay to a foundation supporting the Maryland Shock Trauma Center in hopes that "this will enable them to help more Maryland families in the future."