INDIANAPOLIS – Despite his proven hypocrisy on the issue, Congressman Rokita’s campaign continues to trumpet his support for “No Budget, No Pay” proposals even after he was ridiculed for keeping his pay during the 2013 government shutdown.
A fundraising email yesterday morning from hardline state senator and campaign surrogate Mike Delph claimed that Congressman Rokita supports No Budget, No Pay proposals, writing that he’ll “make sure if Congress doesn’t pass a budget then members of Congress won’t get paid.” It echoes an identical claim that Congressman Rokita made in his announcement speech last month.
Congressman Rokita may claim he supports the position now, but he’s had the opportunity in Washington to put his money where his mouth is, and he failed miserably. For over two weeks in 2013, Republicans shut down the federal government in an attempt to gut the Affordable Care Act. Many legislators in Congress refused their paychecks for the duration of the shutdown, or donated their salaries to charity, including Joe Donnelly, who gave his pay to Indiana food banks.
Congressman Rokita, however, wasn’t one of them. Not only did he keep his paycheck, he defended his behavior, claiming he was “doing [his] job” by voting to close the government and still deserved the pay.
As Dave Bangert in the Journal & Courier wrote on the topic last month:
… Rokita has one ingrained, Trump-like characteristic: He’s willing to say just about anything.
[He] conveniently forgot to mention what happened in October 2013, when No Budget meant No Government for a short time.
As other members of Congress pledged to refuse a paycheck or to donate their pay to charity, Rokita made it clear that he was going to cash his check. In fact, Rokita said, he deserved it as he stood his ground.
Here’s what he told me that day: “The problem I have with holding my pay or anything like that is that sends a message that we aren’t doing our job, and that I don’t deserve my pay. … I’m doing my job. I’m doing exactly what Hoosiers want me to do, and that is fighting out-of-control growth of spending for the federal government, exemplified most recently by Obamacare.”
“Congressman Rokita and his campaign can talk about No Budget, No Pay all they like, but that doesn’t reduce his hypocrisy in the slightest,” said Will Baskin-Gerwitz, Senior Media Strategist for the Indiana Democratic Party. “Why would Hoosiers want someone like Congressman Rokita, who claims one thing on the steps of the Indiana Statehouse and then does the opposite in Washington, when they have someone like Joe Donnelly who backs up his words with action?”