A Washington Post story today notes that U.S. Rep Tim Walz, the Democrat from southern Minnesota, is one of only two members of Congress to donate some of their salary each quarter last year back to the government for debt reduction.
In each fiscal quarter, Walz gave $2,196. The other, Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.) gave $414.39.
It’s a pittance, when considering the national debt is $14.2 trillion, but every bit counts, right?
The two congressional donor are an “odd couple,” the story says:
Bachus, a former sawmill owner in Congress since 1993, is against the health-care reform law and for a constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex marriage. Walz, a former teacher in office since 2007, takes the opposite position on both issues. The American Conservative Union gives Bachus a rating of 96, and Walz a 4.
But both are giving back previous congressional pay raises, trying to show solidarity with constituents suffering in hard economic times.
Walz is quoted: “That old adage [is] ‘It’s better to try and live a sermon than give one.’ ” He said he “just decided it was the right thing to do.”
Total donations last year from the House members (another gave $4,700 in one quarter) was $15,233.56. Other Americans contributed to the Bureau of Public debt fund, too, for a total of $2.8 million.
That, notes the story, kept the debt from growing … for 57 seconds.