U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita, a member of the House Budget Committee, today voted to require members of each house of Congress to pass a budget by the legally required deadline of April 15 in order to receive their paychecks. The "No Budget, No Pay Act," H.R. 325, passed the House 285-144. After the bill's passage, Rokita issued the following statement:
"With this "No Budget, No Pay' legislation, we are holding all members of Congress accountable to the people by forcing ourselves to pass a budget. As a member of the House Budget Committee, I've worked hard to pass responsible budgets to rein in Washington's runaway spending and address our $16 trillion in debt, and it's time for the United States Senate to do the same.
"Like Hoosier families, I know that having a budget is an essential part of living within our means. Forcing our federal government to produce responsible budgets is not only common sense, it will go a long way toward eliminating our debt and removing the need for the brinkmanship brought on by inaction each time we approach our debt limit. It is immoral to simply continue spending with little regard for the consequences that we are passing onto our children and grandchildren," said Rokita.
Rokita was a cosponsor of last year's "No Budget, No Pay" bill, H.R. 3643, which similarly would withhold pay from Members of Congress after October 1 of any fiscal year in which Congress does not approve a concurrent budget resolution and pass the regular appropriations bills.
Under the 1974 Congressional Budget Act, Congress must pass a budget resolution each year by April 15. While the House has met its obligations each year, the Senate has refused to pass a budget for 1,365 days.