By Robert Vane
February 9, 2012
Arizona Daily Sun
To the editor:
Polls confirm the disgust of a large majority of Americans with congressional dysfunction. The 400,000 members of No Labels are trying to do something about it through promoting nonpartisan changes in congressional rules to drive a more functional Congress.
Their hardest-hitting proposal, "No budget, no pay," is designed to address the fact that Congress chronically fails its most fundamental task, that of debating and passing on-time national budgets. In fact, Congress has passed budget bills on time only four times since 1952, resulting in government by "continuing resolution," under which budget priorities of the country are never fully debated or resolved.
"No Budget, No Pay" bills have now been introduced in the Senate as S.1981 and the House as H.R. 3643, with the Senate bill scheduled for committee hearings on March 7. If passed, these bills would result in permanent loss of pay to congressmen from the time when budgets become delinquent until passed. I can think of no more direct way to force accountability, drive fiscal responsibility and change the behavior of Congress.
I urge you to take an editorial position on these bills and for you and your readers to contact the offices of McCain, Kyl, and Gosar to urge them to co-sponsor these "tough medicine" actions. It's particularly important to contact Senator McCain as he's on the committee that will hear the Senate bill.