Miss. lawmakers decide how to handle shutdown for staffs, salaries

Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson changed plans to attend a health care forum today in Jackson in case he has to vote on legislation to end the government shutdown.

Republican Sen. Roger Wicker has kept his offices in Mississippi and Washington open but has furloughed about two-thirds of his staff.

Other Mississippi lawmakers also are making decisions about how the government shutdown that started Tuesday will affect their offices and their income.

House and Senate lawmakers, who earn $174,000 a year, will continue to be paid as required by the Constitution, but some have opted to donate their salaries or return the money to the Treasury.

Gregg Harper, R-3rd District, asked the House chief administrative officer to withhold his salary during the shutdown.