The most basic responsibility of governing is to pass a budget, which the United States Senate hasn't done in four years. In an effort to begin responsibly managing the government's finances, the House of Representatives today adopted H.R. 325, the "No Budget, No Pay" act, which withholds the salaries of Members of Congress until they adopt a budget.
"If hardworking American families and businesses must maintain a budget, Washington should too," said Congressman Scott Perry (PA-04). "If we restrain out-of-control spending, small businesses will see long-term economic stability and feel safe to re-invest in our economy again, creating jobs and economic growth and starting the process of paying down debt and lightening the crushing burden we are piling up for our kids and grand-kids."
H.R. 325 temporarily raises the federal debt ceiling and sets up a broader debate about spending that obligates the Senate to finally join the House in confronting the government's spending problem. The bill does so by forcing the House and Senate to adopt a Fiscal Year 2014 budget resolution by April 15, 2013. If either body does not produce a budget by that date, its members will have their pay suspended until a budget is adopted.
The House has passed budgets in each of the last two years, the last of which cut federal spending by more than $4 trillion. The Senate last passed a budget on April 29, 2009. President Barack Obama's last budget received zero votes in the Democrat-controlled Senate.
At nearly $16.4 trillion, America's debt has grown twice as fast under President Obama as it did under President George W. Bush. Members of President Obama's own fiscal commission have testified that debt of this magnitude costs the American economy the equivalent of one million jobs.