No Budget, No Pay Act | Council For Citizens Against Government Waste

No Budget, No Pay Act

Letters to Officials

March 2, 2012

U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Representative,

Representative Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.) has introduced H.R. 3643, the No Budget, No Pay Act. On behalf of the more than one million members and supporters of the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW), I urge you to support this legislation.

Congress is statutorily obligated to pass a budget by October 1 of each year; however, as of March 2, 2012, it has been 1,038 days since the Senate last passed a budget on April 29, 2009. Lawmakers have abdicated their duty by funding the government through multiple, consecutive, short-term continuing resolutions. During this protracted period of indolence, the Senate Budget Committee has spent more than $12 million in taxpayer funds on staff salaries and other extraneous expenses, while Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) office has spent in excess of $5 million.

For the last 15 years, Congress has not once fulfilled its statutory obligation of passing the full range of appropriations bills by October 1. Over the past 36 years, Congress has only managed to meet this deadline four times. Under H.R. 3643, if Congress fails to pass a budget and all of the normal appropriations bills by October 1 of each year, no funds may be appropriated or otherwise made available for the pay of any member of Congress. Additionally, members of Congress will not be allowed to receive withheld pay, even if they fulfill their duties at a later date.

It is absurd that this legislation is needed to establish an incentive for lawmakers to do their jobs, but nothing else seems to be working. Congress should no longer be allowed to avoid its responsibilities and kick the can down the road through the use of stopgap financial measures. I urge you to support the No Budget, No Pay Act. All votes on H.R. 3643 will be among those considered in CCAGW’s 2012 Congressional Ratings.

Sincerely,

Tom Schatz
President, CCAGW

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