Rep. Pete Olson (TX-22) today issued the following statement on his vote for H.R. 325, the "No Budget, No Pay" legislation, which lays out a path to a balanced budget in ten years, withholds pay for members of Congress if they fail to pass a budget and sets the stage for an important showdown with the President and liberals on how to cut spending:
"Today's vote allows Congress to pass legislation to balance the federal budget in ten years and implements automatic "sequestration" spending cuts beginning on March 1st. The bill also includes a provision, "No Budget, No Pay," to withhold pay for congressmen or senators if their chamber fails to pass a budget. The Senate has failed to pass a budget in almost four years - it's time they do their job.
"America's fiscal crisis must be dealt with. A ten-year budget moves up the timeline to a balanced budget. I know when Paul Ryan submits his plan it will make dramatic reductions in spending as well as prevent Medicare and Social Security from becoming insolvent. My vote today also affirms the $70 billion in automatic sequestration cuts that will happen on March 1st by law. It's been over a decade since annual federal spending -- outside of Medicare, Social Security and other mandatory programs -- was under a trillion dollars. These cuts achieve that goal, which is progress. But we must do more to apply further pressure on the spending-addicted liberals.
"It was clear listening to President Obama on Inauguration Day that he isn't concerned with spending and wants more of it. He's fine with a $16.4 trillion national debt. He's fine with passing that debt onto our children so they inherit an America with less opportunity than our parents left for us.
"He's had a willing accomplice in this spending spree. Under Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, the Senate has failed to pass a budget for almost four years.
"No Budget, No Pay is a common sense effort to get the Senate to do their job and pass a budget. For four years, President Obama and Senate Democrats have hid behind partisan rhetoric and scare tactics to avoid doing their job to reign in out-of-control spending. We must make the tough decisions to put America on a path to a balanced budget. This is one in a series of battles we will have to wage: funding the federal government (which expires March 27th), passing a budget (April 15th), and ensuring more long-term cuts in the next debt ceiling debate (May 19th). Winning these battles one at a time is the strategy that will protect our nation's fiscal future."
Heritage Action for America, Club For Growth and the Family Research Council all endorse today's action. As they said in a recent Politico opinion piece: "When approaching this debt ceiling increase, there appear to be only two options on the table: balance now by refusing to raise the ceiling or balance never by raising it and continuing the status quo...Very simply, we can quickly jump-start our economy and improve the lives of millions of Americans by insisting that Washington not raise the debt ceiling unless our nation gets on a path to a balanced budget within 10 years that stays balanced."
The bill passed the House by a vote of 285-144.