Hultgren: Withhold Congress’ Pay Until Budget Passes
Congressman suggests a way to hold law-makers' feet to the fire.
Fourteenth District Congressman Randy Hultgren has a different sort of idea: No pay for Congress until a budget is passed.
Hultgren recently re-introduced the Constitutional Congressional Pay Accountability Act for the 113th Congress. Hultgren says he introduced the bill back in 2011, and it fall flat then.
The bill is just five pages—small for Congress—and Hultgren describes it as "straightforward." It would require Congress to pass a budget and all appropriations bills by the beginning of that fiscal year. If the budget doesn’t get passed, members of Congress won’t get paid.
"It holds everyone’s feet to the fire," Hultgren said.
Hultgren says House leadership is supporting the concept and that it is one component of the temporary debt-ceiling extension.
“We have got to stop using last-minute legislating and short-term fixes," Hultgren said. "The worst thing we can do for the economy, and especially for people running small businesses, is to constantly keep them in limbo about what the government is going to do next. But it’s not enough just to pass a budget—we need one that shows fiscal responsibility in both the short and long term, in the form of spending restraint and a Balanced Budget Amendment so that spending beyond our means ceases to be a habit for our nation’s leaders.”
Hultgren’s bill, H.R. 308, is structured in such a way as to avoid complications caused by the 27th Amendment. He has twice voted for a Balanced Budget Amendment requiring the federal government not to spend more than it takes in.
SOURCE: Randy Hultgren press release