U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05) today issued the following statement about the government shutdown:
"Members of Congress should be punished for the shutdown of government. Therefore I am foregoing my own salary for the duration of the shutdown, and I will be making a contribution to Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee for that amount.
"I have been working hard to avoid shutdown, and have been willing to compromise in order to keep government open. Unfortunately, too many of my colleagues have been unwilling to keep government operating. For our collective failure, we should all be punished.
"In addition, because my congressional staff members cannot be expected to work for free, I will begin furloughing most of my staff, and ask that the public be patient with those who will remain on duty.
"I am the author of No Budget, No Pay and Stop Pay for Members but these bills do not go far enough to punish Congress for poor performance. I am working to bring an end to this crisis, and on even tougher legislation to punish Congress for poor performance."