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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

Jim Ryan January 28, 2013 at 09:05 PM
What am I doing about it now? I'm trying to help put into office pragmatic people who don't have saber-rattling at the top of their foreign policy views. We have lost over 6,500 service members, injured over 30,000 more and spent nearly $1.5 trillion (and still counting) with a return on investment of zero. Spend that same amount judiciously on our own citizens and you're guaranteed much greater benefit to our country.
Jim Ryan January 28, 2013 at 09:13 PM
Mike - Why would any politician, especially in today's lucrative environment for 'contributions', support a constitutional amendment that would put them out of business? When they look to do things that are positive, it's usually those things that are positively good for them. While the Fair Tax looks good on paper, it's hardly fair, would automatically raise prices on goods by 30%, would bloat our government with another agency just to cut monthly checks for rebates and has its roots in a Scientology-derived scheme known as the National Retail Sales Tax. Not sure about others, but I've had more than enough of the tin-foil hat crowd.
Jim Ryan January 28, 2013 at 09:14 PM
Rudy - I absolutely believe that the elderly should be able to afford their medicine - just think how much more affordable it could have been if the legislation had not been written by the drug industry and pushed through by its many beneficiaries in congress. Do you remember the 'no price negotiation' portion of the bill that ensured that billions of dollars went to the drug industry and not to the wallets of the elderly? I also haven't been able to find the Dems ability to buy votes, unless it's in the section regarding death panels.
Jim Ryan January 29, 2013 at 01:11 AM
Matilda - Of course I know it's not true. I'm sorry you didn't see that I tied the comment to another equally flagrant non-truth from Rudy, that being the Democrats can now buy votes as a result of the Affordable Care Act.
Matilda B January 30, 2013 at 07:05 PM
Rich, the constitution does not allow us to not pay our legislature, so all that would happen is they hold back the money and pay them one lump sum at the end of the year. Randy knows this. He hopes we are too stupid to realize that. It is a public relations ploy that really means nothing. And Jim Ryan is correct that many in Congress are wealthy enough to not need the money. There was an article I was reading yesterday regarding that. I forget if it was Huffington Post but may have been

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