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Amid the Schumer Shutdown, U.S. Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) today highlighted the Democrats’ filibuster of appropriations bills and urged the passage of his No Budget, No Pay Act during a speech on the U.S. Senate floor. The No Budget, No Pay Act requires Members of Congress to pass a budget and related appropriations bills on time each year in order to receive pay.

On January 20, 2018, Democrats overwhelmingly voted to shut down the government by killing a House-passed continuing resolution that would have maintained government and military operations, provided a six-year reauthorization of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) program, and delayed Obamacare’s onerous Cadillac tax.

 

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“While the majority have been working to restore normal budgeting practices, I’m disappointed that my colleagues across the aisle have spent their time doing everything they can to avoid deadlines and chose the route of not working on appropriations bills and shutting down the government,” said Heller. “Not only is this disappointing, it’s also not a surprise given recent history. I have personally never seen Congress pass all 12 appropriations bills on time and on its own without an Omnibus.”

In April, Heller introduced the Ensuring Pay for Our Military Act, legislation that guarantees that our nation’s military men and women receive pay on time in the event of a government shutdown. On Friday, the Pentagon said in a memo that all service members would continue to work in the event of a government shutdown, but that they would not receive their paychecks unless an agreement on government spending is reached.

Heller continued, “Maybe it’s time to start facing some pain around here and that’s why I introduced my No Budget, No Pay Act. Regardless of who is in the majority or minority, my No Budget, No Pay legislation says if Members of Congress do not pass an annual, concurrent, budget resolution and all twelve spending bills on time each year, then they should not get paid.”

Below are Heller’s remarks as prepared for delivery:

Once again, Washington, D.C. has lost its mind.

 

It is shameful what the minority party has engineered a government shutdown at the expense of our troops and their families, our veterans, and our nation’s children’s health care.

 

This is politics at its worst.

 

Just like the American public, I’m frustrated.

 

I’m frustrated that I have to come to the floor to talk about Congress once again failing the American public by not doing our jobs.

 

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, time after time, Congress has blown past our deadline to complete all of the current Fiscal Year appropriations bills and we have punted on our responsibilities and now the government has been shut down.

 

For years I have been talking about how it is Congress’s most basic responsibility to create a budget and pass all of the appropriations bills on time.

 

While some things in the Senate change, others stay the same.  While the majority have been working to restore normal budgeting practices, I’m disappointed that my colleagues across the aisle have spent their time doing everything they can to avoid deadlines and chose the route of not working on appropriations bills and shutting down the government.

 

Not only is this disappointing, it’s also not a surprise given recent history.

 

I have personally never seen Congress pass all 12 appropriations bills on time and on its own without an Omnibus. 

 

I’ve said this before, but I want to inform my colleagues that Congress has been able to accomplish its regular budget and appropriations processes before in recent history. 

 

It happened under President Clinton and a Republican Congress.  It happened under President Reagan with a Democratic Congress. 

 

I have always said Washington is a pain-free zone that faces no consequences if members fail to do their jobs. 

 

Maybe it’s time to start facing some pain around here and that’s why I introduced my No Budget, No Pay Act.

 

Regardless of who is in the majority or minority, my No Budget, No Pay legislation says if Members of Congress do not pass an annual, concurrent, budget resolution and all twelve spending bills on time each year, then they should not get paid. 

 

I want to repeat that last part – if Congress fails to pass all twelve spending bills on time each year, then they should not get paid.

 

Both chambers of Congress should pass all 12 appropriations bills on time – every year.  That’s doing our job and if you don’t do your job, you don’t get paid. It’s that simple.

 

Most Americans sit around the kitchen table each night paying their bills.  Why should Congress be any different?  It’s time for some real accountability in our nation’s capital.

 

Since I’ve introduced No Budget, No Pay I’ve been getting so much positive support for this idea. 

 

Ron from Reno, Nevada said “I’m fully in support of your stand on No Budget, No Pay…out of control spending is ridiculous.” 

 

James from Henderson, Nevada said No Budget, No Pay “is the sort of accountability that I expect from the nation’s leaders.”

 

Until No Budget, No Pay is passed into law, I don’t see any other way to motivate Members of Congress to do their job and avoid government shut downs and Continuing Resolutions in the future.

 

We must pass the principles outlined in No Budget, No Pay. 

 

It will stop these ridiculous government shutdowns in the future and it will stop Members of Congress from being right back here year after year making the same speeches and taking the same votes.

 

I would say to any of my colleagues who are tired of this whole process has unfolded, regardless of what specific issues they are fighting for, to support my No Budget, No Pay act. 

 

I believe the Congress can work again but it will take some accountability like No Budget, No Pay to get us there.

 

Thank you Mr. President.  I yield the floor.

 

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