Congressman Jim Gerlach (PA-6th District) helped the U.S. House of Representatives pass legislation on Wednesday that would withhold pay for all members of Congress if lawmakers fail to pass a budget by April 15.
The measure (H.R. 325) dubbed the "No Budget, No Pay Act" passed the House by a 285 to 144 margin.
In addition to setting a firm budget deadline, the legislation also would allow the U.S. Treasury to continuing meeting the financial obligations of our country through May 19. The Treasury would be able to pay bills through May 18, but would not be able to run up an unlimited amount of new debt.
The bill now goes to the U.S. Senate for consideration.
Congressman Gerlach issued the following statement following the vote:
"No business, no family, no county, township or borough, no youth sports organization, Boy or Girl Scout Troop -- none of them would ever let nearly four years pass without sitting down with a calculator and figuring out how much money is coming in and what expenses they can afford. Yet, today marks 1,365 days since Senate Democrat Leader Harry Reid and his colleagues in the Senate have passed a budget.
The Senate has not just skipped one vote each year on a budget. Failing to pass a budget means the Senate Democrat leadership has refused to level with American citizens and delayed critical decisions about how our country can responsibly control spending or reduce the skyrocketing debt that is suffocating economic growth now and burdening our children and grandchildren with a mortgage they will never be able to afford. No budget also means no real strategy for strengthening and preserving Medicare and Social Security so that these programs are there when seniors need them the most.
Today's vote shows the House is ready to take the lead and stop what has become business-as-usual in the budget process. The hard-working folks in my District know that if you do not do your job, you should not get paid. That is the guiding principle of this legislation, and I was pleased to support passage of the bill."