Congressman Jim Cooper (TN-05) has joined as an original co-sponsor to legislation that would apply furlough cuts from sequestration to Congressional salaries. Cooper joined with a bipartisan group led by Rep. Mike Coffman (CO-06) to introduce the Sequestration Tied to Member Pay (STOMP) Act of 2013. Cooper said:
"It's irresponsible to allow sequestration to continue. When thousands of government workers lose their pay, Congress should too. We're all in this together."
With more than two million federal employees across the nation including nearly 30,000 in Tennessee, many furloughs have already begun. Over 650,000 civilian employees at the Department of Defense are scheduled to begin furloughs this week. These drastic cuts will worsen as sequestration is implemented over the next nine years.
The STOMP Act requires the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to apply salary reductions from furloughs to Congressional salary. The 27thAmendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibits a law changing the compensation for Members of Congress from taking effect u ntil after the next election. As a result, the STOMP Act would take effect at the beginning of the 114th Congress to ensure an intervening election has taken place.
Cooper is a longtime advocate of cutting Members' pay due to Congressional inaction. The main principles behind his "No, Budget, No Pay" bill were adopted by House leadership earlier this year. He also introduced "Stop Member Pay" to prevent Congress from getting paid if the nation defaulted on its bills.