No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013by Representative Robert A. Brady
Posted on 2013-01-23
BRADY of Pennsylvania. Madam Speaker, I yield myself such time as
I may consume.
This bill is not a serious or viable attempt to address the debt ceiling issue and is merely another way to avoid dealing with the difficult choices we need to make.
We have been here before. We know what happens when we govern with this kick-the-can-down-the-road mentality. The most troubling effect, again, is the constitutionality of this bill is also dangerously unclear.
I was not on the floor last week when my colleagues read the Constitution. Maybe they didn't reach the 27th Amendment. I am not a constitutional attorney. I am not an attorney in any way, and I make no apologies for that. But it's real easy: No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators or Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of the Representatives shall have intervened.
``Varying'' is the, again, as my friend did say, operative word. If you aren't getting a paycheck in a month and you're going to wait for 18 months, that's varying. So it could be--and, in my opinion, it is--a constitutional problem.
But be that as it may, I do commend the majority for recognizing that Congress must pay its bills, that raising the debt ceiling isn't about spending more money, it's about paying for bills we already incurred.
There is widespread, bipartisan acknowledgement of how difficult and serious the fiscal challenges before us have become. However, this proposal is just another attempt to yet again put the discussion off for another day.
Madam Speaker, I came here and I saw the sign, ``No Budget, No Pay.'' It probably should say, ``No Budget, Delayed Pay,'' but it sounds better when you say ``No Budget, No Pay.'' That means we may not be getting paid, but we're going to get paid; it will be delayed, but we're going to get paid.
Every year in this house we do pass a budget; although, it's a budget that I can't vote for. It's a budget that hurts the middle class, the working class, the want-to-be-working class, and it also hurts the American people's safety net. We know again this year we will pass that budget. So our friends on the other side of the aisle are putting up a No Budget, No Pay quite well knowing that they will probably pass their budget and we probably will get paid.
On another thought, as my good friend, Mr. Doyle, from Pittsburgh has said to me, why not no gun control, no pay? Why not no immigration reform, no pay? Why not no DISCLOSE Act, no pay? So, Madam Speaker, in my opinion--and I think in a lot of my colleagues' opinion--it's a gimmick bill. No Budget, No Pay has no teeth.
With that, I reserve the balance of my time.