Utahns in Congress reaffirm plans to give pay to charities
Washington • Utah's members of Congress who said they would donate some or all of their government salary during the shutdown say they're following through with that promise but keeping the details private.
Matt Harakal, spokesman for Sen. Orrin Hatch, said the Utah Republican will donate his salary during the 16-day government closure estimated to be around $7,700 to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
But Harakal said he wasn't aware if that was on top of Hatch's current donations to the Utah-based Mormon faith, whose members are urged to pay 10 percent of their annual pay in "tithing."
Rank-and-file members of Congress are paid $174,000 annually.
With Americans upset about the government closure, federal lawmakers, including Utah's delegates, rushed to say they wouldn't collect money for failing to pass a budget in time. Now that the government is running, they all say they'll follow through.
Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, plans to give some to charity for every day the federal government was not running, but spokesman Brian Phillips says what charity and what amount is a private matter.
Rep. Jim Matheson's office says the Utah Democrat will give the full amount he was paid during the shutdown to several charities but he has not identified which ones yet.
Rep. Rob Bishop says the northern Utah Republican plans to give to a handful of charities that he's supported in the past and will give more than he usually does every year.
Utah's other two Republicans in Congress, Reps. Jason Chaffetz and Chris Stewart, said they asked the House clerk to hold their paychecks, though that action wasn't necessary since the government shutdown is over.