Numerous Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives, including two from the local area, emphasized a “no budget, no pay” provision as an important reason why they supported a bill to temporarily suspend the federal debt limit on Wednesday.
The legislation would allow the federal government to pay its bills and incur more debt through May 18. It passed by a vote of 285 to 144 with Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Hollidaysburg, and Rep. Keith Rothfus, R-Sewickley, casting yeas. They were among 199 Republicans and 86 Democrats to support the measure, formally called the No Budget No Pay Act of 2013.
“House Republicans have chosen to act in a responsible way to prevent the country from defaulting on our debt, which would have significant economic consequences. We can’t continue down this road to increasing debt,” said Shuster, a congressman from Pennsylvania’s 9th district.
“House Republicans have brought real suggestions and spending reforms to the table. We expect Senate Democrats to do the same.”
The GOP-controlled House attached a section to the bill that would require members of either chamber to go without pay if their specific body does not agree to a 2014 fiscal year budget resolution by April 15. All members of a delinquent chamber would have their pay put into escrow accounts until a budget is finalized.
“I voted to hold all representatives and senators personally responsible if they fail to pass an annual budget,” said Rothfus, the 12th district’s representative. “It’s pretty simple: No budget, no pay. We need to rightsize the federal government and force it to live within its means so that we can grow our economy, get our neighbors back to work, and respect hardworking taxpayers, and this legislation is an important first step in that direction.”
Shuster added, “This bill will require the House and Senate to each pass a budget resolution. If they don’t, then members won’t get paid. The House passes a budget every year, but the Senate hasn’t passed one in four years. It is time for the Senate to start working for the people; if they can’t do that, they shouldn’t get a paycheck.”
The Senate will consider the debt ceiling increase, with the “no budget, no pay” attachment, in the upcoming days.
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