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Tenney donates shutdown pay after saying it was 'drama over nothing'

Office of Rep. Claudia Tenney
Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-New Hartford) gave the salary she received during the federal government shutdown to organizations in her district, like the Central New York Veteran's Outreach Center in Utica.

Mohawk Valley Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-New Hartford) is donating her Congressional paycheck that she received during the federal government's recent shutdown. She made donations to organizations like the Central New York Veteran's Outreach Center in Utica for each day of the shutdown, about $300 per check. 

“The Schumer shutdown caused us to have to put in peril needy children who may have lost their diabetes medication, our veterans going without pay, the important reinstatement of our national flood insurance program, which has reforms to FEMA that will help our local business community and our individuals who were devastated by floods not just in 2011, two in 2013 and twice this year with the flooding problems we have had,” Tenney said.

Tenney introduced a bill in the House that would prohibit paying members of Congress during a shutdown.

The donations came after Tenney was criticized by Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi (D-Utica), who is running against her this year, for saying that the looming government shutdown was "drama over nothing" and "the government shuts down every evening."

"Ms. Tenney saying a federal government shut down is 'drama over nothing' shows how out of touch she is," said a statement on the Brindisi for Congress Facebook page. "While Ms. Tenney will still get her paycheck during the shutdown, the Small Business Administration will stop processing new small business loans, Social Security field offices will be forced to stop several of their activities, and some military families won’t be getting the benefits they are entitled to."

Tenney told WRVO that she was saying the idea of a total government shutdown was dramatic because essential services like the military did not close during the event. 

Payne Horning is a reporter and producer, primarily focusing on the city of Oswego and Oswego County. He has a passion for covering local politics and how it impacts the lives of everyday citizens. Originally from Iowa, Horning moved to Muncie, Indiana to study journalism, telecommunications and political science at Ball State University. While there, he worked as a reporter and substitute host at Indiana Public Radio. He also covered the 2015 session of the Indiana General Assembly for the statewide Indiana Public Broadcasting network.