Today, U.S. Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) sent a letter to the Chairwoman and Chairman of the Senate and House of Representatives Budget Committees to produce a bipartisan, bicameral budget. While "No Budget, No Pay" legislation helped build momentum towards each chamber passing its own budget, the House and the Senate must work together to agree on a final budget resolution.
"I am pleased that "No Budget, No Pay' has sparked discussion, but ultimately, Republicans and Democrats must work out a long-term proposal for the President to sign into law. Each chamber of Congress must not stop with just passing a budget. They need to work together, hammer out the differences, and follow the budget process to completion," said Senator Dean Heller.
Frustrated with Congress's consistent failure to pass a budget, Senator Heller introduced the No Budget, No Pay Act in July 2011, with Senator Manchin joining as lead Democratic cosponsor. The bill requires Congress to pass a concurrent budget resolution and appropriations bills on time each fiscal year in order to get paid. Congress passed a version of "No Budget, No Pay" earlier this year that withholds pay from Members of Congress if they don't pass a budget this year.
Full text of the letter below:
April 10, 2013
The Honorable Patty Murray
Chairwoman of the Senate Budget Committee
624 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
The Honorable Paul Ryan
Chairman of the House Budget Committee
207 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Chairwoman Murray and Chairman Ryan:
I write to commend you both on your recent efforts to return to regular order with each of you crafting your respective budget resolutions, moving them through committee, and openly debating them on the Senate and House floor. Now is the time to show the American public that Congress can do its job, and encourage you to go to conference to begin working on a final bipartisan, bicameral budget resolution.
As a proponent of holding Members of Congress responsible, I introduced No Budget, No Pay to ensure both chambers work together in an nonpartisan manner to make the hard decisions that our nation's current fiscal situation requires. While No Budget, No Pay has helped to gather momentum, resulting in each chamber passing a concurrent budget resolution, we cannot stop short of getting a final blueprint for our nation's future.
There is a lot of hard work ahead as we get our nation moving in the right direction once more, but Members of Congress must lead by example providing a roadmap for getting our fiscal house back in order. Restoring order to the budget process is an important first step; it is the framework by which Congress has executed its Constitutional responsibility to appropriate funds. Failure to do so will result in continued frustration by the American people with Washington's inability to produce real results.
I encourage you to work together in conference on producing a bipartisan, bicameral budget. Changing the way Congress does business will ultimately restore the confidence of the American people in their government. I look forward to working with you to promote common sense fiscal policies like No Budget, No Pay and proper budgeting practices to help move our nation forward. I appreciate your consideration of this request.
U.S. Senator Dean Heller