Letter to the Editor
Recent national polls confirm the disgust a large swath of Americans across the nation has toward congressional dysfunction. The 400,000 members of No Labels, of which I am one, are trying to do something about it through promoting nonpartisan changes in congressional rules to strive for a more functional Congress.
No Label’s 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 for our nation 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 14. If passed, these bills would result in permanent loss of pay to congressmen from the time budgets become delinquent until passed. As a citizen who is fed up with the way our government is operating, I can think of no more direct way to force accountability, drive fiscal responsibility and change the behavior of Congress.
I urge The Olympian to take an editorial position on these bills and for the Olympian and your readers to contact the offices of Patty Murray, Maria Cantwell, Adam Smith and Jaime Herrera Beutler to urge them to co-sponsor these “tough medicine” actions.