As if you needed any more proof that Washington is broke and broken, check out these statistics from the 112th Congress:
- More than 6,700 bills were proposed, most of them involving some form of spending.
- Approximately 138 budget reform bills have been introduced.
- 132 of those budget reform bills failed to receive a hearing.
Of the six bills that at least got a hearing, one was the No Budget, No Pay proposed offered by the bipartisan group, No Labels. It would withhold congressional pay as long as lawmakers fail to pass a budget on time.
While the Democratic-controlled Senate's dithering is well-documented, the GOP-led House, with 87 Republicans elected in the “tea party” sweep of 2010, hasn't done much better.
“Party leaders have decided, yet again, that their members shouldn’t take tough votes in an election year. The problem is, every other year is an election year,” said former senator and No Labels co-founder George Voinovich.
“Congress hasn’t passed a budget and appropriations bills on time since 1996, and now we know this year won’t be any different. Lawmakers need an incentive to stop kicking the can down the road.”
But, the Ohioan sees a ray of hope.
“It’s rare for the governing body to fix itself, but for the first time in a long time, I’m highly optimistic about seeing a reform bill that would make a real impact in Washington come to the floor. No Labels’ No Budget, No Pay bill has already received a Senate hearing and garnered more than 50 co-sponsors.”
Florida Reps. Steve Southerland, R-Tallahassee, and Tom Rooney, R-Tequesta, are among the signatories of the bill that has been co-sponsored by 20 Democrats and 24 Republicans.