(WASHINGTON) — Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, announced Wednesday that he too will return a portion of his salary to the Treasury Department and will start furloughing 60 percent of his staff due to the sequester.
“We need to be making responsible cuts wherever we can and there is no reason that members of Congress shouldn’t feel the pinch like everyone else,” said Sen. Begich in a statement released Wednesday. “This won’t solve our spending problem on its own, but I hope it is a reminder to Alaskans that I am willing to make the tough cuts, wherever they may be, to get our spending under control.”
Begich’s staff began mandatory furloughs in mid-March and more than half of his staff will experience a cut in their salary this year, the senator’s office says.
Of his 41 staff members, 26 will be furloughed based on pay scale starting with the highest-paid staff.
Staff have been asked to start by taking two furlough days, but are prepared for that to go up to four days or more. Cumulatively, the expectation is between approximately 50 to 100 days of furlough.
The senator will return an amount of his pay equal to the highest number of furlough days any one staffer takes.
Senator Begich originally announced March 22 on his Facebook page that he would return a portion of his salary, but the details were made available Wednesday.
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Frank Pallotta, CNN
Nate Eaton, EastIdahoNews.com
Katie Lobosco and Drew Griffin, CNN
Natalia Hepworth, EastIdahoNews.com