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Dianne Feinstein topped Congressional salary donors during government shutdown



Democratic California Sen. Dianne Feinstein made the largest donation of her salary during the government shutdown.
Democratic California Sen. Dianne Feinstein made the largest donation of her salary during the government shutdown.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

It became a popular refrain from Capitol Hill lawmakers during last fall's government shutdown: If federal workers aren't getting a paycheck, then neither will I. Lawmakers promised to donate their salaries to charity. Or send it back to the federal government to pay down the national debt.

But did they?

The Washington Post surveyed all 237 members of Congress who promised to give away their salaries and received 147 responses. Republican Ken Calvert of  Riverside and Democrat Susan Davis of San Diego are among those who did not respond. Just over three dozen said they kept their salaries since federal workers ended up receiving retroactive paychecks. But more than a hundred followed through with their promise.

Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein of California gave the largest donation to a single organization— $10,000 — to a Washington non-profit that supports inner-city Catholic schools in D.C.

Here's what other California lawmakers did with their shutdown salary:

Thirteen lawmakers from around the country gave $80,000 back to the federal government to reduce the federal debt. The Wounded Warrior Project, which assists veterans and members of the military, was the largest single non-profit recipient of lawmaker contributions. Ten politicos donated $30,000. In total, lawmakers gave $465,000 to charities or the U.S. Treasury.

Of course, some lawmakers don't wait for a government shutdown to give their salary away. Republican Congressman Darrell Issa of Vista has been donating his entire $174,000 salary to charity for years. It's his charity, the Issa Family Foundation. Issa, of course, is also one of the richest lawmakers on Capitol Hill.