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Steny H.
Democrat MD 5

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  • No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013

    by Representative Steny H. Hoyer

    Posted on 2013-01-23

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    HOYER. I thank the gentleman for yielding.

    I want to say to the Speaker before he leaves the floor, I believe the Speaker wants to get to a responsible agreement between our parties, between the House and the Senate, and between the Congress and the President on getting to a responsible way to reduce the budget. This bill is not that vehicle.

    This bill, in my view, is an irresponsible waste of our time. This bill does not do what Republicans said they wanted to do over and over and over again, and that is give a sense of certainty to our economy, to our people, and to the international community.

    This bill kicks the can down the road for 90 days one more time. This bill simply puts a leverage point another 90 days away, so that we can continue to roil this Congress, roil this country, and roil our people and our economy.

    This bill is a political gimmick. This bill was cooked up a few miles from here when, frankly, the majority party said, We're in trouble. The people don't like us. Things aren't going well. How do we fix it? Well, they came up with this gimmick, and the gimmick was, if you don't vote the way we want you to vote, we won't pay you.

    Now, very frankly, the problem with that premise is that we are elected by 435 districts who have different perspectives. And my view is the overwhelming majority of us come here, work very hard on behalf of our constituents, but your constituents may not like what my constituents want. But that doesn't mean you have the right to say you're not going to get paid, Mr. Hoyer, because we don't like what you're working for. If that's our premise, we are holding hostage policy in an undemocratic, dictatorial fashion.

    Not only that, this 90-day kicking the can down the road has got to stop. We need to come to reality that it's not the debt limit that's the problem--and the President's absolutely right. The President has nothing to do with the debt limit. Only this House and the Senate can spend money. The President can't spend a nickel. Only this House and only this Senate.

    The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentleman has expired.

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