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Now 13 congressional freshmen say they will not take their $174,000-a-year salary while shutdown continues – but high-profile millennial Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is NOT among them

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  • A total of 48 lawmakers - both Democrats and Republicans - have said they will not take a salary while the government is shutdown  
  • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez isn't saying whether or not she'll take her salary
  • Ocasio-Cortez, in December, tweeted that members of Congress should 'have some integrity' and not take a paycheck during the shutdown
  • Her office did not respond to's inquiry if she's taking a salary 
  • Thirteen new members of Congress have said they are not taking a salary during the partial government shutdown but rising Democratic star Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez isn't saying whether or not she's getting paid during the closure.

    Ocasio-Cortez, in December before she took the oath of office, tweeted that members of Congress should 'have some integrity' and not take a paycheck during the shutdown.

    'Next time we have a gov shutdown, Congressional salaries should be furloughed as well,' she wrote. 'It's completely unacceptable that members of Congress can force a government shutdown on partisan lines & then have Congressional salaries exempt from that decision. Have some integrity.' 

    But her office did not respond to's inquiry if she's taking a salary while some 800,000 federal workers are either furloughed or working without pay.

    Members of Congress make $174,000 a year.

    She started drawing a salary last Thursday when she was sworn in as a freshman Democratic lawmaker from New York. 

    'I've gotta run!' Ocasio-Cortez told The New York Post last week when asked if she would accept her congressional salary during the closures.

    At least 48 members in the House and Senate - split about equally between the two parties - have said they will either refuse or donate their pay during the shutdown, according to The Washington Post.

    The legislative branch was funded through fiscal year 2019 last year so congressional staff and members of Congress are being paid.

    But employees in executive departments like Justice, Interior, Transportation, and Homeland Security have either been sent home or are working without pay.  

    The clock is ticking to Jan. 11 - the first pay period for those workers that will encompass the entire time period of the shutdown.  

    Ocasio-Cortez told The New York Times in November she needed a salary to help her pay rent.

    She said the transition period will be 'very unusual, because I can't really take a salary. I have three months without a salary before I'm a member of Congress. So, how do I get an apartment? Those little things are very real.' 

    She said she saved money before leaving her job as a bartender at a Union Square restaurant and planned with her partner. 

    'We're kind of just dealing with the logistics of it day by day, but I've really been just kind of squirreling away and then hoping that gets me to January,' she said.

    Several lawmakers - both Democrats and Republicans - have tweeted or announced their intentions to not take a salary during the shutdown.

    'While it is typically a day of celebration for my new colleagues and me, at least 800,000 federal employees and federal contractors are still in financial distress due to the current government shutdown,' freshman Democratic Rep. Jennifer Wexton wrote in a letter to House Chief Administrative Officer Philip Kiko. 

    Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada said she would not take a salary but would donate the money to charity instead.

    'I cannot take a salary during a government shutdown knowing that so many federal workers in Nevada and across the country will go without pay. I'll be donating my salary to a Nevada charity for every day of the Trump shutdown,' she wrote. \

    Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York requested her salary be withheld during the shutdown in a letter to Congress administration officials.

    'I submitted a letter today requesting that my pay be withheld during this partial government shutdown,' she wrote, tweeting a copy of her letter to Kiko.

    Republican Rep. Susan Brooks of Indiana also tweeted a copy of her letter to Kiko, requesting her pay be with held while the government is shut down. 

    Lawmakers have a few different options when it comes to not getting paid. They can write a letter to Kiko, whose agency handles payroll, to request their salary be with held or they can write a check to the U.S. Treasury with the amount of their salary they are returning. 

    Others are donating their pay to charity. 

    Republican Rep. Dave Joyce of Ohio said that if Congress 'Can't keep the government fully operational, we shouldn't get paid.' 

    And Republican Rep. French Hill of Arkansas wrote: 'I cannot in good conscience accept pay while federal employees are not receiving theirs.' 

    Republican Rep. Vern Buchanan of Florida also didn't accept a salary.

    'I will not be accepting any pay for as long as the federal government remains shut down. This is yet another sad example of Washington's dysfunction and inability to compromise,' he wrote on Twitter.  

    Republican Rep. Vern Buchanan of Florida isn't  accepting a salary

    Republican Rep. Susan Brooks of Indiana  requested her pay be with held while the government is shut down

    Republican Rep. Vern Buchanan of Florida isn't accepting a salary

    This is the third government shutdown for the Trump administration. On January 20 of this year a shut down ensued after Republicans refused to fund DACA. Another shutdown followed on February 9, which Trump stopped hours later. 

    It has entered day 18 with no end in sight.

    The White House and Democrats are at an impasse over funding for the president's border wall. Trump wants $5.6 billion for his border barrier; Democrats have offered $1.3 billion for border security.

    Neither side shows any sign of budging. 

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