One hundred forty-four weeks. Some 1,010 days. That’s how long it’s been since the United States Congress actually passed a budget.
While many Americans live paycheck-to-paycheck, planning very carefully a family strategy on how much to spend and on what, the elected leaders of the country have gotten by on omnibus spending bills in lieu of an actual budget for nearly three years.
Now, one U.S. congressman is proposing that members of Congress not receive a paycheck until they do their job and pass a budget.
Called the “Budget or Bust” Act, Georgia Congressman Paul Broun’s recently submitted bill demands just that. No budget, no paycheck for Congress.
HR 3883 would remove the president from the budget process, which is what Broun says the country’s Founders intended anyway.
“My bill returns the power of the purse to its rightful owner, which our Founding Fathers determined to be Congress, not the president,” says Broun.
“The Budget or Bust Act repeals a requirement created in 1921 for the president to submit an annual budget – an act that both Houses of Congress have used as a crutch.”
Broun says that maybe if the paychecks for members of Congress are on the line, some work will get done in Washington.
“It’s completely unacceptable that the last time a budget was passed was over 1,000 days ago.”
The bill was submitted on the House floor this week, with Broun hoping for wide support.
HR 3883 says in part:
“If on or before April 1 of any year Congress does not adopt a concurrent resolution on the budget for the fiscal year that begins on October 1 of that year, the Secretary of the Treasury shall deposit all payments otherwise required to be made for the compensation of members of Congress in an escrow account, and shall release such payments to the members only upon the adoption by Congress of a concurrent resolution on the budget for that fiscal year.”
“Producing a budget is one of Congress’s most basic and most important responsibilities,” Broun says.
“I firmly believe that if members of Congress fail to fulfill our duties to the American people, we shouldn’t be getting paid.”
He said, “My Budget or Bust Act forces the House and Senate to finally pass a budget, or else our salaries will be held as collateral until Congress can get its job done.”
It is unknown how much bi-partisan support the bill will receive. But Broun’s office tells WND that there seems to be members of Congress willing to join the effort to pass a budget.