Joe Jordan | Nebraska Watchdog
This may come under the heading: It’s better to flip than to flop.
A couple days and countless complaints later, Congressman Lee Terry says he’s “ashamed” and is apologizing for what he now calls his “hurtful remarks” surrounding the government shutdown.
In addition the 7-term Republican says he wants his paycheck withheld until furloughed federal workers get their checks.
Terry’s about-face follows plenty of partisan and non-partisan protests which began rolling in Friday.
Late last week the Omaha World-Herald asked Terry if he would continue collecting his paychecks during the Washington stalemate.
“Dang straight,” Terry said.
“I’ve got a nice house and a kid in college, and I’ll tell you we cannot handle it,” elaborated Terry. “Giving our paycheck away when you still worked and earned it? That’s just not going to fly.”
Late Friday afternoon Nebraska Watchdog reported that Terry’s office was doubling down on his remarks.
“Congressman Terry has been working tirelessly to keep the government open and ensure that Nebraska families don’t suffer,” said spokesman Larry Farnsworth who went on to blame the shutdown on House Democrats.
Late Sunday morning Terry issued the following mea culpa:
“I have been fortunate enough the people of Nebraska’s Second Congressional District have entrusted me to work on behalf of their needs and represent them in Congress for the last 14 years.
The other day I made a statement that I would put my needs above others in crisis. I’m ashamed of my comments. It was not leadership. It is not how I was raised. It is not the nature of my character. It is not what I want to teach my sons. I apologize for my hurtful remarks when so many others are feeling the pain of Washington’s dysfunction.
I should and will stand in the shoes of the federal civilian employees who are furloughed. We share the same responsibilities to pay our bills and if they don’t receive a paycheck and must take extraordinary efforts and sacrifice to pay them, then I should too.”
Prior to Terry’s mea culpa a Democratic insider told Nebraska Watchdog that Terry’s pay pronouncement and some new national polling will soon “attract someone good to run” against Terry.
One poll in particular has raised concerns for the GOP.
By a margin of 72-22 voters oppose Congress’ decision to shutdown the government in order to block ObamaCare, according to a Quinnipiac University survey.
Those numbers echo comments Sen. Mike Johanns (R) made to Nebraska Watchdog last week.
The poll goes on to say that looking at the 2014 Congressional races, voters pick a generic Democrat over a generic Republican candidate 43-34, the widest Democratic margin measured so far.
Terry is coming off his closest race ever. He defeated Democrat John Ewing 51-49 in 2012. Ewing, the Douglas County Treasurer, is running for re-election in 2014 and so far the Democrats do not have a challenger for Terry.
Contact Joe Jordan at firstname.lastname@example.org
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