Under the Dome

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.

The second-term congresswoman then sought empathize with the furloughed workers, saying she's in their camp, even though she is getting paid. "I feel for those who have been furloughed -- I'm there with them," she said.

Ellmers called the shutdown "totally unnecessary" and stuck to her talking points, blaming Democrats for the shutdown. She makes $174,000 as a lawmaker.

Democrat David Price of Chapel Hill is one of those declining his pay. CNN's tally cited in a previous Dome post originally listed him as donating it to the U.S. Treasury. But a Price spokeswoman said Friday he is giving it to charity instead.

Other N.C. Republicans not accepting their check: Robert Pittenger, who has never accepted his salary, Mark Meadows and George Holding.

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