Today, Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02) issued the following statement regarding the passage of H.R. 325, the No Budget, No Pay Act. The bill suspends the debt limit and prohibits congressional pay unless Congress approves a budget. H.R. 325 passed 285 to 144; Congressman Bishop voted in favor of passage.
"The Constitution gives Congress responsibility over the nation's purse strings, and I believe the American people expect Congress to uphold their full faith and credit to pay our bills," said Congressman Bishop. "I also believe that Congress should carry out its budgetary duties or forfeit its pay."
H.R. 325 suspends the current $16.4 trillion statutory limit on federal borrowing through May 18, allowing the government to borrow whatever it needs to fully finance its operations and prevent a default. A new statutory debt limit would automatically be re-established. If the debt limit was reached, the resulting default would threaten our government's credit rating as well as put at risk the timely payment of social security checks, veterans' benefits, and military salaries.
Additionally, H.R. 325 requires that congressional pay for Members of Congress be withheld beginning April 16 if that chamber fails to adopt a budget resolution by that time. Members of Congress will have their pay put placed in an escrow account until that chamber adopts a budget or until the last day of the 113th Congress in January 2015.