Today U.S. Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) and Congressman Jim Cooper (TN-05) introduced No Budget, No Pay, which would stop congressional pay if Congress fails to pass a budget on time. The legislation is included among a dozen of proposals from No Labels as part of the organization's MAKE CONGRESS WORK! action plan.
The No Budget No Pay Act, which Senator Heller reintroduced in the Senate today, would prohibit members from receiving pay after missing deadlines for budget and appropriations bills. It would not allow for that pay to be recouped retroactively.
"Year after year, Congress has failed to meet its basic budgeting responsibilities. If Nevadans don't complete the tasks their jobs require, then they don't get paid. Congress should be no different. If Congress does not do its job, then Congress should not get paid," Senator Heller said. "I'm pleased to join Rep. Cooper and No Labels in this bipartisan effort to break political gridlock in Washington."
Senator Heller introduced an earlier version of No Budget No Pay into the Senate in July 2011. Representative Jim Cooper (TN-05) introduced No Budget No Pay in the House of Representatives.
"Because America's credit rating is threatened, Congress cannot afford to be late paying its bills," Representative Cooper said. "Threatening to stop paying Congress is the surest way to make sure we beat the annual Oct. 1 deadline. Congress must get its work done, or get no paycheck."
Congress has not passed a binding budget resolution for more than 950 days. According to the Congressional Research Service, Congress has not passed all its appropriations bills on time since 1997.
Earlier today, Senator Heller joined No Labels, a citizen-based organization, 400 citizen leaders, former and current lawmakers and prominent opinion makers at a news conference on Capitol Hill. At the event, Senator Heller unveiled the No Budget No Pay Act, which was included in No Labels' MAKE CONGRESS WORK! proposal. This morning's press conference was the official start of No Labels' campaign to create systemic change in Washington through the implementation of a 12-point proposal aimed at breaking gridlock, reducing polarization, and promoting constructive debate.