5,872 bills have come before the 112th Congress. Only 840 have received a hearing, and a No Labels proposal just became one of the select few. The No Budget, No Pay Act, a proposal that would dock pay for members of Congress if they can’t pass an on-time budget, now has a hearing in the Senate.
No Budget, No Pay. It’s a simple concept — and one that is taking off. Only four times in the past 60 years has Congress passed a budget and all appropriations bills on time. Members of Congress know this can't continue.
So now we’ve got a hearing on a bill that would prove members are ready to move forward. But even that took a bit of serendipity. The Senate Parliamentarian, the body’s official adviser on the interpretation of rules and procedures, also refers bills to committees. It is often a random process. So while No Budget, No Pay could have been referred to any committee where it might have been dead on arrival, it was referred to the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs. The chairman of that committee happens to be a No Labels supporter — Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) — who saw to it that our bill got a hearing, which will be held March 14.
Now more members of Congress will go on the record in favor of or against our bill. Now our bill will get serious publicity. Now we’re off to the races.
It's time to hold our Congress accountable. It's time for members to do their job.