Heller Asks Senate Leadership To Schedule Vote On No Budget, No Pay Act

CARSON CITY – U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., today sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., asking them to schedule a vote on the No Budget, No Pay Act (S. 1981).

Saying he is frustrated with Congress’ “consistent failure” to pass a budget, Heller introduced the No Budget, No Pay Act. This bill requires Congress to pass a concurrent budget resolution and related appropriations bills in order to receive pay. Pay is not awarded retroactively if Congress passes a budget after the deadline has passed.

In his letter, Heller said in part: “More than three years have passed since Congress adopted a binding budget resolution. The Senate Budget Committee failed to mark up a budget once again this year, demonstrating that the budget process in this body is fundamentally broken. Each of the budgets slated for a vote this week faces substantial opposition from members of whatever party did not introduce that particular budget. These budgets are being brought up in order to fail.

U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev.

“That’s why I’ve been advocating my No Budget, No Pay Act (S. 1981) for nearly a year,” he said. “My legislation calls on the House and Senate to pass a concurrent budget resolution and all regular appropriations bills before the beginning of each fiscal year. Failure to do so would result in the loss of pay until we take our jobs seriously and make these bills our legislative priority.”

The proposal and a companion measure in the House have some bipartisan support.

Heller testified in support of the bill in a Senate hearing held in March of this year.

“Members of Congress are willfully refusing to put our nation on a path to long-term fiscal responsibility,” Heller said at the hearing. “In crafting the No Budget, No Pay Act, to force Congress to face reality and take responsibility for running this country, this legislation requires that the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives pass a budget and all appropriations bills by the beginning of each fiscal year. Failure to do so would result in the loss of pay until Congress takes its job seriously.”

The nonpartisan group No Labels gave its support to Heller’s measure after it was introduced. The NNB had earlier erroneously reported the idea had come from the No Labels group.

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Audio clips from March hearing:

U.S. Sen. Dean Heller says members of Congress are failing to put the country on a path to fiscal responsibility:

051412Heller1 :26 rating in history.”

Heller says the bill would require Congress to approve a budget by the beginning of each fiscal year or go without pay:

051412Heller2 :26 its job seriously.”