Labor Day weekend is a good time to discuss the No Budget, No Pay Act working it’s way through congress.
This new law would suspend pay for members of Congress if they fail to pass a concurrent budget resolution and all 12 annual spending bills on time.- No work, no pay. It now has 90 sponsors in Congress.
The origins of this new legislation rests with the group NoLabels, which is a nonpartisan group of Republicans, Democrats and Independents working towards making our government work.
According to their website NoLabels.org, “The government in Washington is no longer capable of solving the very real problems facing America. Before every election, our politicians make promises about how they will fix our tax system. Our immigration laws. Our schools. Our budget issues. But after every election, these promises are crushed under the weight of the same poisonous rhetoric and hyper-partisanship.”
NoLabels has put forth an action plan, entitled “Make Congress Work!” with a series of 12 rules changes designed to reduce hyper-partisanship and gridlock in Congress.
The No Budget, No Pay Act is the first of 12 ideas to get our government working again, and the other 11 are good in that they offer solutions, and also help exemplify how procedural processes lead to stalemate and stagnation.
The growing pressure to pass the No Budget, No Pay Act shows that NoLabels - established in 2010 - can make a difference. Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev has been a strong promoter of the common sense No Budget, No Pay Act; and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., is promoting that Congress end virtual filibusters and go back to the days of Jimmy Stewart when a congressman had to stand and speak in order to conduct a filibuster.
NoLabels provides a framework of ideas that have nothing to do with policy and everything to do with process. Their suggestions to create a political climate in Washington are simple, cost nothing, and would help foster a more bipartisan spirit which is need to get things done — it also makes Congress and the President more accountable to the people.
Issues of policy demand debate, but at some point they demand action. The 12 ideas promoted in the NoLabels “Make Congress Work!” plan provides an opportunity to address the processes involved in government, and hopefully lead to making our elected leaders work for the American people.
Submitted by Charles McCormick