How many times in the last sixty years has Congress passed a budget and all accompanying spending bills necessary to fund government operation? The natural answer would be every year, right (excepting the last three years, of course)?
You’d be wrong. Four times. Four complete budgets in sixty years. No wonder Congress enjoys its lowest approval rating in history. The most fundamental role of the Congress is to disburse government revenues, and our representatives have not fulfilled their responsibility. Quite simply, Congress is not doing its job.
That’s why I support the “No Budget, No Pay Act,” otherwise known as HR 3643. It’s simple.. If you don’t do your job, you shouldn’t be paid.
Over the last fourteen years, spending bills have been submitted an average of four months late, and nearly always incomplete. The result is an ever more wasteful and inefficient government. When Congress fails to pass comprehensive budgets, they bridge the gap with something known as a “Continuing Resolution,” (CR) which allows government to continue at prior rates, with added room for inflation.
Continuing Resolutions have at least two major drawbacks. First, spending levels continue to grow, even during times like today when Washington is spending more than it receives in revenues.. Second, our representatives are never actually forced to sit down and look at the spending bills and make judgments about where funding must continue in full and where there may be opportunities for savings.
This irresponsible behavior on the part of our elected officials causes great uncertainty for government agencies and, more importantly, on the citizens who depend on those agencies.
Agencies from the Federal Aviation Administration to the National Institutes of Health postponed the hiring of air traffic controllers and the funding of grants for innovative medical research.
If Congress cannot make critical budget decisions on time, then they should not get paid on time. The government’s fiscal year begins October 1. The No Budget, No Pay Act stipulates that if Congress’ appropriations (spending) process is not complete by October 1, Congressional payroll will cease to be paid on that date, and will not resume until the appropriations process is completed.
Congress should not be allowed to persist in the practice of applying the Continuing Resolution to the budget process. CRs are nothing but another way of passing the buck and avoiding responsibility.
The job of a Congressman is important. We the People entrust them with our hard earned dollars and ask them to allocate those funds responsibly. It’s time we hold them accountable.