Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) criticized Democratic and Republican leaders for not including "No Budget, No Pay" provisions in budget bills considered by the House today.
In February, Braley signed on to "No Budget, No Pay" legislation that would block pay for members of Congress if they're unable to make spending and budget decisions by the September 30th deadline each year. The most basic responsibility Congress has is deciding how much money the government takes in and how much it spends. In the last 14 years, annual spending bills have been submitted by Congress an average of 14 months late.
The House voted on competing Republican and Democratic budget proposals today. But neither bill included "No Budget, No Pay" provisions.
"There are consequences for missing deadlines in the real world, and there should be consequences if Congress misses its deadlines," Braley said. "There are few better ways to motivate politicians than cutting off their pay if they don't do their job.
"Neither party showed the political courage necessary to include the No Budget, No Pay reform in their budget bills today, and that's disappointing. The time is now to make this change and restore a little common sense to a Congress that doesn't have any."
Every government fiscal year ends on September 30th. Under the "No Budget, No Pay" proposal, if the congressional spending process is not completed by that date each year, congressional pay ceases and isn't restored until it is completed.
The "No Budget, No Pay" legislation is a key component of the "Make Congress Work" reform plan of the No Labels organization, a group of Republicans, Democrats, and independents dedicated to bringing people together and making government function again. In December, Braley joined No Labels to unveil the plan.