Farenthold to Cruz: ‘Put your money where your mouth is’

Sen. Ted Cruz leaves a Republican Senate caucus meeting at the U.S. Capitol September 30, 2013 in Washington, DC.
Sen. Ted Cruz leaves a Republican Senate caucus meeting at the U.S. Capitol September 30, 2013 in Washington, DC.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Republican Rep. Blake Farenthold said Monday that he intends to give up his salary if Congress fails to avoid a government shutdown on Monday night, and also called on his colleagues to do the same, including fellow Texas lawmaker Ted Cruz.

“I’ve already composed and written a letter to the House administration telling them to withhold my paycheck in the event of a lapse of appropriations,” he said.

“Ted, put your money where your mouth is,” he added. “I would consider it to be immoral to take a paycheck when the people in the federal government are not.”

Late last week, Cruz said he had no plans to give up his own salary.

“I will confess it is a question I have not given a significant amount of thought. At the current time, I have no intention of doing so,” Cruz said when pressed by a reporter.

Monday evening, however–shortly after Farenthold made his call on PoliticsNation–Cruz apparently changed his mind.

“Harry Reid should not force a government shutdown,” Cruz said in a statement. “I hope that Reid stops refusing to negotiate and works with the House to avoid a government shutdown, and, at the same time, prevent the enormous harms that Obamacare is inflicting on the American people.”

“If, however, Harry Reid forces a government shutdown, I intend to donate my salary to charity for each day the government is shut down,” he continued. “Elected leaders should not be treated better than the American people, which is precisely why hardworking Americans deserve the same Obamacare exception that President Obama has already granted Members of Congress.”

Farenthold addressed the impact a shutdown could have on federal employees, arguing that if past shutdowns are any guide, they are likely to receive their back pay ultimately.

“First off I don’t think there’s going to be a government shutdown and second of all, if history is any indication, they will be made whole and they will receive their back pay and it’ll basically be a paid vacation,” he said.

This story was updated at 7:55 p.m. .

Watch the interview with Rep. Farenthold in its entirety below.

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