U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann voted for a bill that passed the House on Wednesday that temporarily increases the nation’s debt ceiling and requires each house of Congress to pass a budget.
Known as the “No Budget, No Pay” Act, the bill would withhold pay for legislative members if they fail to pass a budget.
“Not having a budget wouldn’t fly for hardworking Americans at home or at work, and it shouldn’t be allowed in Congress,” said Fleischmann, a Tennessee Republican whose district includes Oak Ridge. “We cannot ever truly constrain spending if the Senate will not pass a budget. With the passage of this bill, the Senate Democrats will finally be obligated to produce a path to get our fiscal house in order.”
Fleischmann said the House has passed “responsible budgets” each year he has been in Congress, but it’s been more than 1,300 days since the Senate, controlled by Democrats, has produced a budget.
“This irresponsible pattern must end this year,” Fleischmann said.
Also on Wednesday, U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, who is also a Tennessee Republican, said he is an original cosponsor of “No Budget, No Pay,” bipartisan Senate legislation introduced Wednesday by Sen. Dean Heller, a Nevada Republican. The bill 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,” Corker said. “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 said he 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.