Congressman Fred Upton (R-St. Joseph) voted this afternoon to pass "No Budget, No Pay" legislation (H.R. 325) that requires the House and the Senate to each pass a budget; failure to do so would result in pay being withheld for Members of that legislative body. To date, it has been 1,365 days since the Democratic-controlled Senate has passed an annual budget resolution. H.R. 325 also temporarily raises the debt ceiling to allow the U.S. government to meet its obligations through May 18, 2013. H.R. 325 passed the House by a bipartisan vote of 285 to 144 and now heads to the Senate for consideration.
"It's a straightforward concept: if you don't do your work, you don't get paid," said Upton. "It is absolutely shameful that the Senate has not done its job, failing to pass a single budget in nearly four years. Every American family and business operates on a budget -- without that fundamental blueprint, how can the Senate reasonably expect to address our nation's complex fiscal challenges?"
The Congressional Budget Act of 1974 requires both the House and the Senate to pass a budget resolution, which the Senate has failed to do since April 29, 2009. H.R. 325 requires both chambers of Congress to pass a Fiscal Year 2014 budget resolution by April 15, 2013. In the event a resolution is not agreed to, the salaries that would have otherwise been paid to the Members of the chamber failing to agree to a budget resolution will be placed in escrow. In accordance with the Twenty-seventh Amendment to the United States Constitution, withheld funds will be released when a budget is adopted or the last day of the 113th Congress.
The national debt limit was most recently raised as part of the Budget Control Act of 2011. At the end of 2012, the U.S. Department of the Treasury reached its authorized borrowing limit of $16.4 trillion and has been utilizing "extraordinary measures" to meet our nation's obligations. Those measures are expected to be exhausted by late February or early March without the enactment of this legislation, causing a default.