Cramer Continues to Cash Taxpayer Checks During Shutdown

Congressman Kevin Cramer demands that taxpayers keep paying him a salary while the federal government is partially shut down due in no small part to his own vote. This is the second time the government has shut down during his time in Congress. Both times he has continued to collect his pay while federal employees, who have no control over the situation, are furloughed and attempting to negotiate with lenders and landlords as they navigate financial uncertainty.

While Cramer continues to cash taxpayer checks during his second shutdown, Senators Heidi Heitkamp and John Hoeven have announced they’ll donate their salaries. They both donated their salaries during the 2013 shutdown which led to Cramer taking a petty shot at both Hoeven and Heitkamp by saying, “If you want a Congress that’s full of millionaires and doctors’ spouses, this is a great little trick.” In 2018 he believes it is all “gimmicky.” Congressman-elect Kelly Armstrong has also indicated he’ll donate his salary if the government is still shut down when he is sworn in. No wonder why Hoeven, his staff, and other Republicans constantly whisper about their ill-feelings toward Kevin Cramer.

“I have no intention of donating my salary while working,” Cramer told media outlets this week. A bold statement from the only member of North Dakota’s current delegation who didn’t pay his interns for the work they did in his office. Congressional interns work long hours and have a lot of responsibility. They take constituent questions, concerns, and input. They contact federal agencies to try and resolve issues. They compile reports and charts used for briefings and meetings. Basically, they’re the face of constituent services. Not work worthy of pay or a consistent stipend in Cramer’s eyes.

I’m curious what Cramer is “working” on during this shutdown? Where are the accomplishments? Transitions to the next Congress have begun. Perhaps he should publicly release his work schedule to give the people who pay his salary a better understanding of what he is up to.

It is clear the subject of finances has made Cramer uneasy over his lifelong career in politics. Everyone now knows while he has been receiving a taxpayer salary – whether the government is open or not – he has been paying his wife through political donations he has raised from his many campaigns. Those are facts that when presented publicly leaves him and his ardent supporters unglued. Oddly, Cramer has not reported having a bank account on his federal personal financial disclosure dating back to the mid-1990s. It makes a person wonder where is he depositing these checks?

Tyler Axness