Sunday, January 20, 2013

GUEST COLUMN: "A Simple Principle: No Budget, No Pay" by Speaker Boehner #NoBudgetNoPay

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) released the following column discussing legislation that will require both the House and Senate to pass a budget, and withhold member pay if they fail:

“When I and my Republican colleagues were entrusted with the majority in the House of Representatives in 2010, we committed ourselves to addressing our nation's debt problem and re-establishing trust between the American people and their elected leaders.

“Always mindful of those goals, we've passed a budget for the country every year that would lower the deficit and cut spending to begin solving the debt problem that is hurting our economy and threatening our children's future.

“This year we will again pass a budget for the nation that meets these goals. And this time, it is essential that the Democratic-controlled Senate pass a budget this year as well -- something it hasn't done in nearly four years.

“As Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD), currently the House Minority Whip, correctly declared in 2006, passing a budget for the country is the most basic responsibility of governing.

“The 1974 Congressional Budget Act requires passage of a budget resolution by April 15 each year. Under Democrats' control, the Senate has refused to pass a budget for 1,360 days. At a time when uncontrolled spending is dragging down our economy, such a record of inaction is unconscionable.

“As we look to 2013, the American people continue to demand that Washington get serious about fiscal responsibility. Both parties and both chambers of Congress must heed this call by passing a budget. If they don't, they shouldn't be paid.

It's a simple principle: no budget, no pay.

“President Obama is again demanding an increase in the nation's debt ceiling, and refusing to discuss the possibility of enacting spending cuts along with it to lower our debt.

“The president is right that we cannot allow our nation to default on its debts. But he's totally wrong when he says the debt limit should be increased without reducing government spending at the same time.

“A long-term increase in the debt limit that is not preceded by meaningful and responsible reductions in government spending might avert a national default, but it would also invite a downgrade of our nation’s credit that damages our economy, hurts families and small businesses, and destroys jobs.

“With that in mind, House Republicans have united around the principle that before there is any long-term debt limit increase, a budget should be passed that cuts spending. The House will adhere to this principle. The Senate must as well.

“The Democratic-controlled Senate has failed to pass a budget for four years. That is a shameful run that needs to end, this year.

“We are going to pursue strategies that will obligate the Senate to finally join the House in confronting the government’s spending problem.

“Every American family and small business has a budget. The House and Senate must as well.

“In the coming days, the House will consider legislation to temporarily raise the debt ceiling for three months, and set up a broader debate about spending that obligates the Senate to finally join the House in confronting the government's spending problem. The bill will require both the House and Senate to pass a budget, and member pay will be withheld if they fail.

“I know from the letters and emails I receive that this stance enjoys strong support among the people of our congressional district.

“Daryl from Lewisburg, OH, for example, wrote to me on January 17, saying he wants to see a ‘no budget, no pay’ plan enacted to not only encourage our leaders to set our nation on a more stable course, but also to restore the American people’s trust in their national legislature.

“I’ve heard your concerns, and we are taking a first step towards serious action to address the threat posed by our debt and deficit. We've even adopted a Twitter hashtag for this effort: #NoBudgetNoPay.

“There will be more. This is the debate our country needs.

“Republicans will hold the president and his Senate accountable for their failures on the budget and press for real action to lower spending. We must take these steps together so we can begin to solve the debt problem that endangers our children's future.”

Boehner represents Ohio’s 8th District, which includes all of Butler, Clark, Darke, Miami, and Preble counties, and the southernmost part of Mercer County. He was first elected to Congress in 1990.