By Derrick DePledge
U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard announced Tuesday that she will be voluntarily giving up 5 percent of her congressional pay during the federal budget cuts known as sequestration. Congressional pay was not part by the federal cuts.
Congress failed to come to a balanced agreement to prevent the arbitrary, across-the-board cuts that both parties agreed would be detrimental to our middle-class families and our country.
During the recent district work period, I visited Pearl Harbor Shipyard and met with workers who shared with me the hardship their families are facing due to these mandatory furloughs. The furloughs are also forcing delays that impact their ability to maintain our Navy’s readiness. Our civilian shipyard employees are among the many Hawai‘i families who are affected by these cuts.
I cannot in good conscience stand by while our seniors, children, middle-class families, and military bear the brunt of these arbitrary cuts; we must share in the sacrifice. I will continue to return five percent of my pay until the sequestration cuts are repealed and we find common ground for a smart, balanced solution to reduce our deficit.
Readers might remember that Gabbard's father, state Sen. Mike Gabbard, once declined to accept a controversial pay raise for state lawmakers.