The Tennessean: House's debt ceiling extension bill includes Cooper's 'no budget, no pay' idea
January 24, 2013
By Paul Barton
Cooper, D-Nashville, last year got 79 House members and more than a dozen senators to endorse his idea that lawmakers should stop receiving their salaries if they do not resolve the federal budget for the next fiscal year by Oct. 1 of every fall.
In the measure extending the debt ceiling Wednesday, House Republican leaders included a version of Cooper’s idea that calls for pay to lawmakers to stop if both chambers do not adopt a budget resolution by April 15.
It has been almost four years since both chambers agreed on a budget resolution.
The proposal linked to “no budget, no pay” passed 285-144, with 86 Democrats voting for it, including Cooper.
“The idea behind ‘no budget, no pay’ came from a Nashvillian who approached me two years ago,” Cooper said in a prepared statement.
“He said, ‘I don’t get paid if I don’t do my job, and do it on time. Why should Congress be any different?’ I agree, and this bill makes Congress follow the same rule that every American understands: Do your work if you want to get paid.”
Cooper said he agreed with President Barack Obama that the debt ceiling extension should be longer than three months and unconditional.
“But this bill is a step in the right direction to get Congress to take its duties seriously,” Cooper added.
Opposing the increase was Rep. Scott DesJarlais, R-Jasper.
“I have made my position clear from the beginning: Any increase in the debt limit needs to be offset with an equal amount of spending cuts,” DesJarlais said in a prepared statement. “Unfortunately, today’s legislation did not contain a single spending cut or reform in return for giving this president an open-ended three-month debt limit increase.
“At this administration’s spending levels, that would mean an extra $250 billion of new debt. The debt crisis we have been warned about is here.”
Republican Reps. Marsha Blackburn of
“While the Republican-led House has passed a responsible budget each of the past two years, the Democrat-controlled Senate has refused to pass any budget at all for nearly four years. Since then, the national debt has increased by more than $5 trillion,” Black said.
“As every hardworking American family knows, fiscal responsibility starts with establishing a budget. Honest, responsible budgeting is absolutely necessary to restore fiscal sanity in
In the Senate, where the increase is also expected to pass, Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander on Wednesday signed on as an original co-sponsor of the “no budget, no pay” idea.
“The Senate majority hasn’t passed a budget in three years — you wouldn’t get paid at the Grand Ole Opry if you showed up late and refused to sing, and Congress shouldn’t be paid for refusing to do its job,” Alexander said.