Despite claiming support for no budget, no pay proposals, Congressman Rokita defended cashing his paycheck after voting to cause 2013 shutdown
INDIANAPOLIS – Congressman Rokita’s announcement speech has been criticized for the disconnect between his “defeat the elite” slogan and the fact that he’s spent roughly a third of his life in political office, but the hypocrisies of Wednesday’s rollout went far beyond that. Several policies that Congressman Rokita claimed he supported in his speech were out of step with his historic efforts – none more head-scratching than his insistence that Congress pass no budget, no pay proposals, as Dave Bangert mentioned in his Friday column. After all, Congressman Rokita himself voted to shut down the government in 2013 and then publicly defended cashing his paycheck during the closure. If he continues to run with his anti-politician message, he might first want to stop and eliminate his political doublespeak.
One of the better lines on the Statehouse steps – presumably no location was available as a backdrop in the 4th District, where calls for town halls have gone unanswered in 2017 – was his commitment to something called “No Budget, No Pay.”
The fundamentals are sound: Members of Congress should be held accountable if they can’t deliver a workable budget. Rokita touted Indiana’s balanced budget provisions and promised to fight for the same as a U.S. senator.
But Rokita 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.