Decision Maker Response

Ralph Norman’s response

Feb 26, 2019 — Two weeks ago, Congress managed to finally pass a spending bill to avoid another government shutdown. This bill was 3 months overdue, and we cannot wait for the next shutdown to hold Congress accountable.

Every Member of Congress, “Solemnly swears [to] support and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

Article I, Section 9, Clause 7 of the Constitution states that “No money shall be drawn from the Treasury but in consequence of Appropriations made by law.” This means that when each Member of Congress takes the oath of office, it is their Constitutional duty to ensure the government is open, funded, and running.

So, when the government is shutdown in any manner, it means Congress is not doing their jobs.

(Disclaimer: Congress has fully funded the government on time only four times since 1974!)

The fact that Congress continuously has the same issue every year is shocking. Where else in America do employees get paid for not doing their job? The answer is easy – nowhere. If this is the standard across America, then it should also apply to Members of Congress.

As it stands now, Members receive regular pay when federal workers, and thousands of Americans, have their pay withheld during a government shutdown. This is ridiculous.

It is appalling that Members get paid when the government shuts down, and now is the time to bring a dose of reality to Washington. If we cannot do our jobs we have failed the American people and therefore have not earned our pay – plain and simple.

There is bipartisan consensus that Congress should not be paid during a government shutdown, and now is the time to bring common-sense back to the legislative branch of government. Without common-sense and proper accountability, Congress will continue to fail to do its job and will always fail the American people.