Before the government shutdown had even begun, Congressman Gary Peters (D-Mich) made a promise -- he'd donate the pay he accrued during the shutdown in solidarity with the thousands of federal employees who weren't going to receive paychecks.
On Monday, Peters made good on his word. The Senate candidate announced that he would donate his take-home paycheck from the 16 days of shutdown, worth $5,000, to two Michigan charities.
Peters picked the Care House in Pontiac, Mich., which helps children suffering from abuse or neglect, and Piquette Square for Veterans by Southwest Solutions in Detroit, which gives affordable housing to southeast Michigan veterans.
“Michigan families work hard and if their businesses closed, they wouldn’t get paid, and that is why I am donating my pay from the last 16 days that Washington gridlock shut down the government to Care House in Pontiac and Piquette Square for Veterans by Southwest Solutions in Detroit,” Peters said in a statement sent to The Huffington Post.
“This shutdown was irresponsible and unnecessary, and I look forward to continuing to work with both sides of the aisle to improve the economy, create good jobs that support a strong and vibrant middle class, and responsibly tackle our serious fiscal challenges," he added.
After Peters announced he would donate his shutdown pay to charity on Sept. 30, Texas Senator Ted Cruz announced he would also give away his paycheck from the government shutdown.
Peters was quick to respond via Twitter.
.@sentedcruz joining me to donate pay to charity, but not to stop shutdown. I urge you to drop politics. Irresponsible to do anything less.
— Gary Peters (@RepGaryPeters) October 1, 2013
According to a poll conducted by Public Policy Polling last week, Peters currently leads 43 to 36 percent against his Senate opponent, former Michigan Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land. But 21 percent of the 642 likely voters surveyed were undecided, making this 2014 race one to watch. The candidates are already campaigning for the seat of retiring Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich).