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Renee Ellmers retreats, says she'll decline her congressional salary

Republican U.S. Rep. Renee Ellmers said Friday she would decline her $174,000 congressional salary amid the federal government shutdown, reversing course after facing intense pressure.

Ellmers sent a letter to House officials asking for her pay to be withheld, saying in a statement she would “stand with all federal workers.”

Two days earlier, the Dunn lawmaker refused to decline her paycheck like many of her Republican and Democratic colleagues during the shutdown, telling a Raleigh TV station, “I need my paycheck. That is the bottom line.”

The remark generated a firestorm and calls of hypocrisy given that 800,000 federal workers are being furloughed without pay because of the budget impasse in Congress.

Ellmers begin backtracking Friday morning. Read more here.

Ellmers won't give back pay but may defer next month's check

UPDATE: Renee Ellmers reversed course and will decline her salary during shutdown. Read the latest here.

U.S. Rep. Renee Ellmers said she is willing to consider deferring her next congressional pay check but won't give back her October pay like many of her colleagues amid the government shutdown.

Ellmers softened her stance Friday during a CNN interview. The Dunn Republican is drawing fire for saying "I need my paycheck" at a time when hundreds of thousands of federal workers are being furloughed without pay under the partial government shutdown.

Asked about the remark on CNN, Ellmers said her October paycheck was in her bank account when the shutdown took effect, Oct. 1. If it persists, Ellmers said she will have another option in November. "I may do it at that point," she said.

Rouzer raising money at D.C. lobbying firm

UPDATED: Former state Sen. David Rouzer is hitting the donor circuit again in his second bid for Congress.

Rouzer traveled to Washington for a fundraiser Wednesday featuring Republican Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy of California and the GOP members of the N.C. congressional delegation, according to an invite.

The noon fundraiser is at the offices of lobbying firm Meyers & Associates. It costs hosts $2,500 to attend with the minimum contribution at $250. A Rouzer spokesman said the space is being rented from the lobbying firm by the campaign.

Rouzer is trying again to beat Democratic Congressman Mike McIntyre. He narrowly lost in the 2012 election and announced a second bid just a few months later.

David Rouzer considering another Congressional bid that would start soon

The 2014 talk is starting and it's not just focused on which Republican will challenge Democratic U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan.

Republican David Rouzer is looking at another run at U.S. Rep. Mike McIntyre's seat in the 7th Congressional District. Rouzer lost by 650 votes in a prolonged recount in November, the closest race in the nation, he said. McIntyre was the only Democrat to win a highly contested seat that received national attention.

Morning Roundup: N.C. congressional delegation splits on fiscal cliff vote

North Carolina's congressional delegation split along unusual lines when it came to the fiscal cliff legislation. U.S. Sens. Richard Burr and Kay Hagan voted to approve. In the House, five Democrats and one Republican voted in favor and two Democrats and five Republicans voted against. See the breakdown here and more on the vote here.

More political headlines below.

Congresswoman Foxx 'chews out' staffer for riding members-only elevator

North Carolina Congresswoman Virginia Foxx "chewed out" a House staffer for riding on an elevator reserved for lawmakers, according to The Hill, though Foxx's office is disputing the story.

It apparently happened Tuesday when the elevators at the Longworth House Office Building were clogged. A staffer and the publication's tipster stepped into the members-only elevator; Foxx and an aide stepped in on the next floor.

From The Hill: "The lawmaker, who was recently elected to a House GOP leadership post, asked for whom the pair worked. Then she turned to the female staffer, who had no clue she was on board what was soon to be the elevator ride of doom.

Foxx said to the staffer, “This is a ‘members-only’ elevator; can you read?” She then demanded the staffer’s name before the elevator stopped after going just one more floor up. “Get out here,” Foxx supposedly commanded.

Speaker Boehner to campaign for Romney in Raleigh, Charlotte

UPDATED: House Speaker John Boehner will be in Charlotte on Friday to stump for GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

 

The Ohio Republican is scheduled to speak 4:15 p.m. at the local Romney campaign office on East Morehead Street in Charlotte on Friday and at 10:45 a.m. at GOP headquarters on Hillsborough Street in Raleigh on Saturday, according to an email sent out by Romney's campaign.

NC a prize in battle for control of U.S House

TAMPA, Fla. --Rep. Tom Price of Georgia, part of the House Republican leadership, is looking to North Carolina for one of the biggest GOP congressional hauls in the country.

Price, chairman of the House Policy Committee, thinks Republicans will pick up four seats in the Tar Heel state in November – enough to help keep the House in Republican hands. Although he didn't name the seats, he was referring to George Holding in the the 13th, David Rouzer in the 7th, Richard Hudson in the 8th and Mark Meadows in the 11th – all now held by Democrats.

Price told the North Carolina delegation breakfast, that he anticipates that the North Carolina delegation after November will have 10 Republicans and three Democrats after November. The big change is largely due to the GOP drawing of congressional redistricting lines last year.

George Holding says he's not in Congress yet; 'don't jinx anything'

George Holding is happy to win the Republican primary for North Carolina's 13th District Congressional seat, but is uncomfortable with talk that he has the November general election contest in the bag.

When people jokingly call him “Congressman Holding,” he responds: “Don’t jinx anything."

The former U.S. Attorney is expected to win in the redrawn district that leans heavily Republican. And it’s still unclear who his Democratic opposition will be. Charles Malone, who won the Democratic nomination, had said he was dropping out of the race due to health problems. But now he’s feeling better and is reconsidering a run.

Congressman Walter Jones lands on an unfriendly list

Congressman Walter Jones continues to land in the crossfire this election season. First, an indepdent group, Campaign for Primary Accountability, identifies him as a target. And now, the Republican is landing in a Top 10 list of incumbents who could lose their primary elections.

The Washington Post's political pundits give Jones' Republican challenger Frank Palombo, a former New Bern police chief, a good shot in the May 8 primary. 

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