Hawaii Senator Mazie Hirono Donating Salary Earned During Government Shutdown To Food Banks In Home State

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The government has been partially shut down for a week now, and is likely to continue into the next year, meaning almost 800,000 federal employees have either been furloughed or are continuing to work without pay. Congress, however, are still part of a select group still receiving a regular salary, though Newsweek reports that one senator will not be keeping her earnings for herself.

On Thursday, December 27, the sixth day of the government shutdown, Democratic Senator Mazie Hirono from Hawaii announced in a news release that she would be donating the salary she receives throughout the entirety of the partial shutdown to food banks across her home state.

“More than 2,500 federal workers in Hawaii are either furloughed or working without pay during the holidays because Donald Trump shut down the government,” Hirono said in her statement.

“As long as Donald Trump refuses to re-open the government, I will be donating my salary to Hawaii’s food banks — who serve nearly one in eight Hawaii residents in need,” she continued.

According to Newsweek, Hirono receives an annual salary of $174,000 a year, which breaks down to roughly $3,500 a week, the amount she has earned since the current shutdown began. She will be splitting her pay between the Hawaii Food Bank on Oahu and Kauai, Maui Food Bank and Hawaii Food Basket on Hawaii Island.

Hirono has taken similar action during previous government shutdowns, donating her salary to Hawaii’s 14 Federally Qualified Community Health Centers in January, 2018, and among five different organizations in her home state during the government shutdown in 2013.

Hirono is not the only official who has vowed not to take their salary in the wake of the government’s current state. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Democratic Senator Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada has also stated she would be donating her earnings to charity.

“I cannot take a salary during a government shutdown knowing that so many federal workers in Nevada and across the country will go without pay,” she wrote on Twitter during the first days of the shutdown. “I’ll be donating my salary to a Nevada charity for every day of the Trump shutdown.”

The Hill also noted that both of North Dakota’s senators — Republican John Hoeven and Democrat Heidi Heitkamp — will be donating their paychecks from the shutdown as well.

The government partially shut down at midnight on Saturday, December 22, after Congress was unable to pass legislation that funded the government and also included the $5 billion demanded by President Trump for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.