It might be dismissed as an election year gimmick by the big shots who run Capitol Hill, but frustration over Congress’ failure to pass a budget since 2009 has given surprising momentum to a bill that would cut off lawmakers’ pay if they can’t — or won’t — pass a budget blueprint.
The “no budget, no pay” idea is still a long shot, but it’s actually getting an official hearing Wednesday from the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee as part of a package of congressional reform proposals from a centrist group called No Labels.
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The idea is simple. If Congress doesn’t pass a budget and all 12 of the accompanying spending bills setting annual agency budgets on time, every lawmaker’s paycheck would get cut off. No exceptions.