U.S. Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) announced they are original cosponsors of “No Budget, No Pay,” bipartisan Senate legislation that would suspend pay for members of Congress if they fail to pass a budget and all appropriations bills by the beginning of the fiscal year on Oct. 1.
“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 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.”
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.
“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,” said Alexander, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “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” was introduced last week at a press conference in the Capitol.
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.