Only four times in the past 60 years has Congress has passed a budget and all annual spending bills on time. Congress has the lowest public approval rating in history.
It all comes down to a simple fact: Congress is not doing its job – and the most basic job Congress has is deciding how much money the government takes in and how much it spends.
If Congress can’t make spending and budget decisions on time, then members should not be paid.
No Budget, No Pay bills have already been introduced in the House (H.R. 3643) by Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN) and in the Senate (S. 1981) by Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV), and both bills have numerous bipartisan co-sponsors.
Every government fiscal year begins Oct. 1. With this bill, if the congressional appropriations (spending) process is not completed by that date, congressional pay would cease as of Oct. 1. Congressional salaries would not be paid until appropriations are completed, and members would not receive their lost salaries retroactively.
This reform is the first solution in No Labels 12-point action plan to Make Congress Work! The plan features a dozen common sense proposals to fix the outdated rules, procedures and traditions that have turned Congress into a broken institution.
But it all begins with fixing the process for how we spend money, and this is why the No Budget, No Pay Act needs to pass.