Blue Dogs Back No Budget, No Pay Act

Mar 12, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON—Today, the Blue Dog Coalition announced its endorsement of H.R. 129, No Budget, No Pay Act, which was authored by Congressman Jim Cooper (TN-05) and co-sponsored by several other Blue Dog members. No Budget, No Pay would prevent House and Senate members from receiving their salary if they miss annual deadlines for budget and appropriations bills, and they would not be paid retroactively. The bill would force members to work together to pass bipartisan legislation, do its most basic job, and prevent damaging government shutdowns that hurt families and embarrass America.


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.


“Passing a budget should not be optional,” said Rep. Ben McAdams (UT-04), Co-Chair of the Blue Dog Task Force on Fiscal Responsibility and Government Reform. “The first step towards getting our fiscal house in order is approving a bipartisan budget that spells out priorities. Any small business owner seeking financing from a bank must have a business plan that shows how the business will operate. It should be no different for members of Congress.”


“Congress is one of the few places on earth where you can get paid for not doing your job,” said Rep. Cooper. “My ‘No Budget, No Pay’ bill would finally make Congress work. This was true when my bill became law in 2013, but sadly Congress let the law expire. Now is the time to get Congress back on track.”




The pay incentive has been proven to work. Congress overwhelmingly passed a 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. However, the bill was temporary, and has since expired.