Nebraska Rep. Lee Terry released a statement Sunday apologizing for a comment he made about continuing to be paid during the government shutdown while many federal workers are not receiving a paycheck.
"The other day I made a statement that I would put my needs above others in crisis. I'm ashamed of my comments. It was not leadership. It is not how I was raised. It is not the nature of my character. It is not what I want to teach my sons. I apologize for my hurtful remarks when so many others are feeling the pain of Washington’s dysfunction.
I should and will stand in the shoes of the federal civilian employees who are furloughed. We share the same responsibilities to pay our bills and if they don't receive a paycheck and must take extraordinary efforts and sacrifice to pay them, then I should too.
I have asked the Chief Administrative Officer to withhold my paycheck until furloughed employees get their paycheck.”
Terry later told WOWT 6 News, "In the heat of the moment last week I made some comments that basically put my interests over those of the folks that have been furloughed and that was wrong. I'm ashamed of that. It's not what I was taught. We give to others and help people in crisis."
Terry's words came in response to him saying he would keep collecting his salary that is guaranteed by the Constitution and not affected by the shutdown. Some members of Congress are refusing to accept their paycheck or are donating the money.
"Whatever gets them good press,” Terry had told the Omaha World-Herald. “That's all that it's going to be. God bless them. But you know what? I've got a nice house and a kid in college and I'll tell you we cannot handle it. Giving our paycheck away when you still worked and earned it? That's just not going to fly.”