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Public Statements

No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. HARPER. Madam Speaker, the No Budget, No Pay portion of this bill was written specifically to ensure that it complies with the 27th Amendment to the Constitution. The bill does not vary the amount of compensation and is, therefore, constitutional. It only changes when Representatives and Senators are paid if they fail to adopt a budget resolution, as required by law.

Currently, Representatives are paid monthly and Senators are paid twice a month. This bill simply says, if the House does not adopt a budget resolution, the Members of that House, instead, get paid at the end of that term of Congress.

In 1789, James Madison, when he introduced the 27th Amendment, spoke of preventing changes in compensation from being for the benefit of those determining them. The clear purpose of the amendment--which, as we know, was not ratified until 1992--was to prevent Members from drawing higher salaries from the public treasury without giving voters an opportunity to speak on that decision. This bill does not benefit Members at the expense of taxpayers, and it is consistent with the provisions of the 27th Amendment.


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