(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) is calling on Congress to adopt legislation that requires passage of a long-term budget each fiscal year in order to receive pay. Heller today sent a letter to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs, urging Committee action on S. 1442, the No Budget No Pay Act.
“Congress has not passed a budget in two and a half years. And now, once again, Congress is considering another short term fix. Congress cannot spend responsibly without a long-term budget to set us on a path to fiscal sanity. Clearly we need to make big changes in the way Washington works in order to get Members to do the job they were elected to do. The No Budget No Pay Act holds Members of Congress to the same standard as the rest of America – if they do not do their job, they do not get paid,” said Senator Heller.
In July, Heller introduced the No Budget, No Pay Act (S.1442) in the Senate. This bill requires that Members of Congress pass a concurrent budget resolution by the beginning of any fiscal year. Retroactive pay for any period of time covered by this provision of law would be prohibited.
Full text of the letter below:
September 22, 2011
The Honorable Joseph Lieberman
Chairman, Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
340 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
The Honorable Susan Collins
Ranking Member, Senate Comiittee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
344 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
Dear Chairman Lieberman and Ranking Member Collins,
I write to respectfully request that your Committee review the No Budget, No Pay Act (S. 1442). I introduced this legislation in July, and it currently awaits consideration by the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.
As we approach the end of the fiscal year, we are once again reminded that the federal budget and appropriations process is broken. The Senate has not adopted a budget in more than 800 days, yet in that time, Congress adopted a healthcare bill that will cost taxpayers more than $1 trillion, hiked discretionary spending, and increased the federal debt ceiling. Members of Congress are willfully refusing to put our nation on a path to long-term fiscal responsibility. As long as this is the case, Americans will continue to be frustrated and angry with Washington’s inability to produce real results. We must find the will to end political gridlock and solve the federal government’s very serious budget problems. Until then, Washington will continue its dysfunctional addiction to short-term, short-sighted funding measures.
The No Budget, No Pay Act would bring the reality facing many Americans to Congress. S. 1442 requires that the U.S. Senate and House Representatives pass a budget by the beginning of each fiscal year. Failure to do so would result in the loss of pay until Congress passes a binding budget resolution.
My home state of Nevada is currently enduring highest unemployment rate in the country. I hear from individuals who are laboring to make ends meet as I travel my state. In Nevada, and in the states you represent, countless families are staying up late to work out a budget around their kitchen table. At a time when American families’ pocketbooks are getting tighter, we must lead by example and get our own fiscal house in order.
I respectfully encourage you to show the American people that the U.S. Senate is serious about budget reform and fiscal responsibility by bringing S. 1442 up for consideration in your Committee at your earliest convenience. Thank you in advance for considering my request.