Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tn.), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced Wednesday he is an original cosponsor of legislation to cut off pay to Congress if it doesn’t pass a budget, saying, “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.
“You can’t balance a budget if you don’t even have one, and I’ve tried every means I know to persuade senators to do their work on time. Tennesseans are fed up with the failure of Congress to do its most basic job – and so am I.”
The “No Budget, No Pay Act” would cut off pay to members of Congress if they don’t pass a budget and all appropriations bills, as required by law, by the beginning of the fiscal year on Oct. 1. Senator Alexander cosponsored the same bill in the previous Congress. Senator Dean Heller (R-Ne.), lead sponsor of the bipartisan bill, and Alexander, along with other Senate cosponsors, introduced the “No Budget, No Pay Act” today at a press conference in the Capitol.
Senator Alexander is pushing for the Senate to not only pass a budget, but to bring appropriations bills to the floor and enact all 12 appropriations bills by the beginning of the fiscal year. Annual appropriations bills are supposed to provide oversight of federal spending. Last year, the Senate Appropriations Committee sent 11 of the 12 appropriations bills to the full Senate, but Senate Majority Leader Reid did not bring a single one to the floor for consideration.
Senator Bob Corker, R-Tn., announced he is an original cosponsor of the legislation.
“Failing to pass a budget and accomplish this most basic responsibility of government is a total failure of leadership and represents everything the American people hate about Washington,” said Senator Corker. “If Congress can’t perform its most basic responsibility, I worry how we’ll ever demonstrate the courage needed to make the tough decisions necessary to put our country on a path to fiscal solvency.”
Senator Corker has never accepted his Senate salary. Since taking office in 2007, his salary has gone directly to the Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga which distributes it to various charities.