Lawmakers Reluctant To Follow President's Lead In Taking Pay Cut

8:12 PM, May 2, 2013   |    comments
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BUFFALO, NY - About a month ago, President Obama announced plans to take a 5% salary cut in support of federal workers who face furloughs because of sequestration.

The mandated budget cuts are "across the board", meaning the pain is being felt on wide scope.

Two On Your Side asked some of those who represent you in Washington, if they shouldn't feel a pinch in their pocketbooks as well.

"No," said U.S. Senator Charles Schumer (D-New York) when asked if he'd follow Mr. Obama's lead and sacrifice a portion of his pay. "I think the best way to deal with sequester is to fight against it and that's what I've done. We have a plan to undo all of sequester, and quite frankly it's mainly by closing tax loopholes," Schumer told WGRZ-TV. "Getting rid of sequester is not going to be accomplished by symbolism."

"I would certainly consider it, but it doesn't deal with the primary issue," said Rep. Brian Higgins (D-NY 26th) when asked if he would take a symbolic pay cut. "That's something I could certainly consider and do, but I think these kind of things are distractions to the larger issue," said Higgins, who believes the key to solving the nation's fiscal woes is enhancing economic opportunities.

"We've already taken a 5% cut to our congressional office budgets," noted Rep Chris Collins (R-NY27th), who said the President was doing nothing more than grandstanding. Collins, who as Erie County Executive accepted only $1 per year in salary (donating the rest to charity), believes "smart" spending cuts need to be enacted to help cure what ails the nation fiscally.

Click on the video player to watch our story from 2 on Your Side Reporter Dave McKinley and Chief Photojournalist Andy DeSantis. Follow Dave on Twitter: @DaveMcKinley2



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