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The No Budget, No Pay Act - An Overview

Only four times in the last 60 years has Congress passed a budget and all appropriations bills on time. REALLY?!“Congress has never missed Christmas or Thanksgiving, and this reform will make sure we never miss Oct. 1, the beginning of our fiscal year, again. Deadlines work. Congress should, too” - Representative and No Budget, No Pay Sponsor Jim Cooper (D-TN)

“If you don’t do your job in America, you don’t get paid. In Washington, D.C., there should be no difference” - Senator and No Budget, No Pay Sponsor Dean Heller (R-NV)

Congress has only passed a budget and all spending bills necessary to fund the government four times in the past 60 years.

In the last 14 years, annual spending bills have been submitted an average of four months late.

Congress is currently at its lowest approval rating in history: 12 percent

Over 88 percent of Americans agree with our common sense solution to this problem: No Budget, No Pay

If Congress can’t make its spending decisions and fails to submit a budget on time, they shouldn’t get paid on time, either.

  • On Oct. 1, the government begins a new fiscal year
  • If the congressional appropriations (spending) process is not completed by that date, congressional pay ceases as of Oct. 1, and isn't restored until appropriations are completed
  • Members of Congress would also not be paid retroactively


  • Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) is the lead sponsor of the Senate bill (S. 1981), which currently has 11 co-sponsors.
  • Representative Jim Cooper (D-TN) is the lead sponsor of the House version (H.R. 3643), which currently has more than 70 co-sponsors.
  • The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee held a hearing on No Budget, No Pay in mid-March. Rep Cooper said of the hearing: “This hearing is important because it’s the first institutional indication that Congress knows it’s sick.

Click here to view highlights from the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Hearing

CNN’s (and No Labels Co-Founder) John Avlon reporting on No Budget, No Pay.


  • Get your copy of the No Budget No Pay booklet
  • Read the legislation in the House and Senate
  • View the latest videos on No Budget, No Pay and our Make Congress Work! action plan
  • Read the latest articles that mention No Budget, No Pay
  • See Frequently Asked Questions about No Budget, No Pay and our Make Congress Work! action plan
  • The bill has been assigned to the Committee on House Administration in the House where the members include: Dan Lungren, Chairman (R-CA),  Bob Brady, Ranking Member (D-PA), Phil Gingrey (R-GA), Charlie Gonzalez (D-TX), Gregg Harper (R-MS), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Richard Nugent (R-FL), Todd Rokita (R-IN), Aaron Schock (R-IL)
  • The bill has been assigned to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs in the Senate. The members include: Joe Lieberman, Chairman (I-CT), Susan Collins, Ranking Member (R-ME), Daniel Akaka (D-HI), Mark Begich (D-AK), Scott Brown (R-MA), Mark Begich (D-AK), Tom Carper (D-DE), Tom Coburn (R-OK), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Carl Levin (D-MI), John McCain (R-AZ), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Rand Paul (R-KY), Rob Portman (R-OH), Mark Pryor (D-AR), Jon Tester (D-MT)



Problem Solvers

  • Andy Barr
  • John Barrow
  • Mark Begich
  • Ami  Bera
  • Sanford Bishop
  • Diane Black
  • Bruce Braley
  • Julia Brownley
  • Larry Bucshon
  • Cheri Bustos
  • Tony Cardenas
  • Robert P. Casey, Jr.
  • Joaquin Castro
  • David  Cicilline
  • Mike Coffman
  • Paul Cook
  • Jim Cooper
  • Jim Costa
  • Rodney Davis
  • John Delaney
  • Jeff Denham
  • Charlie Dent
  • Sean Duffy
  • Elizabeth Esty

From the Blog

  • April 11, 2015
    No Labels
    No Labels co-founders Steve Odland and Congressman Tom McMillen speak with Admiral Paul Zukunft about the Coast Guard's priorities, as well as Jared Bernstein, a senior fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, about the economy.
  • March 24, 2015
    No Labels
    What could possibly cause the senators to stay up past their bedtime? The not-quite-yearly but still semi-frequent budget reconciliation.

No Labels National Strategic Agenda