Blue Dog Coalition Endorses No Budget, No Pay Act

Jul 25, 2017
Press Release

The fiscally-responsible Blue Dog Coalition has endorsed the H.R. 1779, No Budget, No Pay Act, authored by Blue Dog Congressman Jim Cooper (D-TN) and co-sponsored by several other Blue Dog members. No Budget, No Pay would stop congressional pay if Congress fails to pass America’s budget bills on time.

A longtime advocate for congressional reform, Rep. Cooper first introduced the No Budget, No Pay Act in 2011 after a constituent in Nashville, Tennessee, asked why Congress is allowed to miss budget and tax deadlines while the public has no such luxury.

“Congress is the only place in America where you get paid for showing up but not doing your work. There shouldn’t be special treatment for members of Congress,” said Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN). “They should live by the same rules as everybody else: Do your job and do it on time, or you don’t get paid. It’s that simple.”

This legislation has worked in the past. Congress overwhelmingly passed a watered-down, one-year version of Rep. Cooper’s No Budget, No Pay Act in 2013. That year, the House and Senate passed individual budgets for the first time in four years—and that wasn’t a coincidence.

H.R. 1779, No Budget, No Pay Act is permanent and would halt paychecks for all House and Senate members if they miss annual deadlines for budget and appropriations bills. The No Budget, No Pay Act would prohibit members from receiving pay for each day past Sept. 30 that budget and spending bills don’t pass.

“If we cannot work together to pass a bipartisan budget, we should not be paid. It is that simple,” said Rep. Tom O’Halleran (D-AZ), Co-Chair for the Blue Dog Task Force on Government Reform and Accountability. “I will not sit here and play partisan politics while Arizonans, and families across the country, wait for us to do the work we were elected to do.”

“No issue in Congress is more important than our duty to pass a budget,” said Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-OR), Co-Chair for the Blue Dog Task Force on Government Reform and Accountability. “That’s our primary job. In the real world, if you don’t do your job, you don’t earn your paycheck. Congress should be no different. It’s really that simple.”

“This year, we saw a budget resolution that was delivered 93 days after it should have been completed,” said Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX), Blue Dog Co-Chair for Communications. “We’ve seen in the past that No Budget, No Pay works to keep members of Congress in line to do the job the American people sent them to do—and that’s to govern. We ought to make this permanent so we can ensure Congress continuously practices more responsible governance.”