UPDATE: Renee Ellmers reversed course and will decline her salary during shutdown. Read the latest here.
As some North Carolina congressional lawmakers defer pay during the shutdown, GOP Rep. Renee Ellmers is refusing to do so -- and her remarks are drawing the attention of an advocacy group.
"The thing of it is, I need my paycheck. That is the bottom line," Ellmers told WTVD, the Raleigh ABC station, Wednesday.
More than 70 congressional lawmakers are voluntarily not taking a salary during the partial government shutdown. Democrat David Price of Chapel Hill is donating his check to charity and Republican Robert Pittenger not accepting it as he has done from the start. Republicans George Holding, Virginia Foxx and Mark Meadows are not accepting their pay.
But Ellmers' decision to keep her pay -- and her reasoning -- is prompting Progress NC, an advocacy group critical of Republicans, to call on Ellmers to reverse course. The organization suggests her remarks are hypocritical given that other federal employees are not getting paid because of the federal budget impasse in Congress. '"Beltway Renee' and the Republican leadership in Washington are posturing for an extended shutdown cushioned by their six-figure salaries," said Gerrick Brenner, the group's executive director.
An Ellmers spokesman could not provide an immediate response because of the lockdown at the U.S. Capitol after reports of shots being fired in the vicinity.
U.S. Rep. Howard Coble, a Greensboro Republican, said he would keep it his pay, according to a CNN tally. Coble has not yet facing any pressure for his decision.
**UPDATE: Added Republican George Holding to list of lawmakers refusing pay during shutdown. And updated David Price and Robert Pittenger donating paychecks, not returning it to the treasury, as CNN first reported.