No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013by Former Representative Dave Camp
Posted on 2013-01-23
CAMP. Mr. Speaker, pursuant to House Resolution 39, I call up the
bill (H.R. 325) to ensure the complete and timely payment of the
obligations of the United States Government until May 19, 2013, and for
other purposes, and ask for its immediate consideration.
The Clerk read the title of the bill.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to House Resolution 39, the amendment printed in House Report 113-2 is considered adopted, and the bill, as amended, is considered read.
The text of the bill, as amended, is as follows: H.R. 325 Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the ``No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013''.
SEC. 2. TEMPORARY SUSPENSION OF DEBT CEILING.
(a) Suspension.--Section 3101(b) of title 31, United States Code, shall not apply for the period beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act and ending on May 18, 2013.
(b) Special Rule Relating to Obligations Issued During Suspension Period.--Effective May 19, 2013, the limitation in section 3101(b) of title 31, United States Code, as increased by section 3101A of such title, is increased to the extent that-- (1) the face amount of obligations issued under chapter 31 of such title and the face amount of obligations whose principal and interest are guaranteed by the United States Government (except guaranteed obligations held by the Secretary of the Treasury) outstanding on May 19, 2013, exceeds (2) the face amount of such obligations outstanding on the date of the enactment of this Act.
An obligation shall not be taken into account under paragraph (1) unless the issuance of such obligation was necessary to fund a commitment incurred by the Federal Government that required payment before May 19, 2013.
SEC. 3. HOLDING SALARIES OF MEMBERS OF CONGRESS IN ESCROW UPON FAILURE TO AGREE TO BUDGET RESOLUTION.
(a) Holding Salaries in Escrow.-- (1) In general.--If by April 15, 2013, a House of Congress has not agreed to a concurrent resolution on the budget for fiscal year 2014 pursuant to section 301 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, during the period described in paragraph (2) the payroll administrator of that House of Congress shall deposit in an escrow account all payments otherwise required to be made during such period for the compensation of Members of Congress who serve in that House of Congress, and shall release such payments to such Members only upon the expiration of such period.
(2) Period described.--With respect to a House of Congress, the period described in this paragraph is the period which begins on April 16, 2013, and ends on the earlier of-- (A) the day on which the House of Congress agrees to a concurrent resolution on the budget for fiscal year 2014 pursuant to section 301 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974; or (B) the last day of the One Hundred Thirteenth Congress.
(3) Withholding and remittance of amounts from payments held in escrow.--The payroll administrator shall provide for the same withholding and remittance with respect to a payment deposited in an escrow account under paragraph (1) that would apply to the payment if the payment were not subject to paragraph (1).
(4) Release of amounts at end of the congress.--In order to ensure that this section is carried out in a manner that shall not vary the compensation of Senators or Representatives in violation of the twenty-seventh article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States, the payroll administrator of a House of Congress shall release for payments to Members of that House of Congress any amounts remaining in any escrow account under this section on the last day of the One Hundred Thirteenth Congress.
(5) Role of secretary of the treasury.--The Secretary of the Treasury shall provide the payroll administrators of the Houses of Congress with such assistance as may be necessary to enable the payroll administrators to carry out this section.
(b) Treatment of Delegates as Members.--In this section, the term ``Member'' includes a Delegate or Resident Commissioner to the Congress.
(c) Payroll Administrator Defined.--In this section, the ``payroll administrator'' of a House of Congress means-- (1) in the case of the House of Representatives, the Chief Administrative Officer of the House of Representatives, or an employee of the Office of the Chief Administrative Officer who is designated by the Chief Administrative Officer to carry out this section; and (2) in the case of the Senate, the Secretary of the Senate, or an employee of the Office of the Secretary of the Senate who is designated by the Secretary to carry out this section.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. Debate shall not exceed 1 hour with 40 minutes equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the Committee on Ways and Means and 20 minutes equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the Committee on House Administration.
The gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Camp) and the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Levin) each will control 20 minutes. The gentlewoman from Michigan (Mrs. Miller) and the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Brady) each will control 10 minutes.
The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Camp).
General Leave Mr. CAMP. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members have 5 legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks and to include extraneous material on H.R. 325.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from Michigan? There was no objection.
Mr. CAMP. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong support of H.R. 325, the No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013. This legislation directs Members of the House and Senate to adopt a budget resolution by April 15, 2013. If either body does not adopt a budget resolution by April 15, 2013, Members of that body will have their pay withheld until they pass a budget. It's simple: no budget, no pay. The American people understand that they don't get paid if they don't do their job, and neither should Members of Congress.
In addition, to ensure the complete and timely payment of the obligations of the U.S. Government, this legislation allows Treasury to issue debt between the date of enactment and May 18, 2013. However, Treasury may only issue enough debt necessary to pay bills coming due before May 18. I want to be perfectly clear on this point: this bill does not allow Treasury to run up an unlimited amount of debt between now and May 18.
The debt authorized under this bill must be tied to bills coming due during that timeframe. Further, on May 19, a new debt limit is automatically established.
So that's what this bill does. The larger question is, why are we even talking about the debt and debt limit? Our Nation's debt is not just some abstract number. It has a direct impact [[Page H238]] on American families. During the President's fiscal commission, the Simpson-Bowles Commission, we heard nonpartisan testimony that when the debt is this large in comparison to the economy, it costs the country the equivalent of about 1 million jobs. Think about that. If Washington got its debt and spending under control, then 1 million more Americans would be working today.
And if that wasn't sobering enough, Fitch Ratings recently warned that the failure to come up with a plan for reducing our debt would likely still result in a downgrade of the U.S. credit rating. A lower credit rating is sure to mean higher interest rates. That means higher credit card payments, higher car payments, higher student loans, and certainly higher mortgage payments.
Despite these nonpartisan warnings, the Democrat-controlled Senate has not produced a budget in more than 1,300 days. That's 4 years without a budget. How can we begin to get our debt under control when Democrats won't even produce a budget? This bill is the first step in forcing Democrats to put forward a budget so we can start holding Washington accountable for its out-of-control spending.
Every day, American families have to make decisions about their household finances. They have to adjust their spending to cover a whole host of things: groceries, student loan payments, braces for children, and a replacement for that aging refrigerator. Of course, they can't buy everything they want. Every day, they have to make tough choices.
It's time for Congress--the House and the Senate--to make some tough choices. To be honest, Mr. Speaker, this isn't a tough choice where I come from. Where I grew up, if you didn't do your job, you didn't get paid. It's time for Congress to start living with the same facts of life everyone else in America has to live with. I support the No Budget, No Pay Act because it brings back a bit of accountability and common sense to Washington. I urge my colleagues to join me in passing this bill.
Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.