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  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The house has not voted
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
    IntroducedJanuary 3rd, 2017

What is it?

This bill — the No Budget, No Pay Act — would withhold the paychecks of members of Congress from whichever chamber (the House or the Senate, or both) that can't agree on a federal budget by the start of the corresponding fiscal year on October 1. The payroll administrator for the chamber that can't agree on a budget would put the paychecks of those members of Congress into an escrow account. There would be no retroactive pay for lawmakers for the period in which a budget hadn't been adopted.

Impact

Members of Congress, payroll administrators for Congress, the Secretary of State, and the President.

Cost

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable. However, a CBO estimate of a previous version of this bill found that implementation would not have a significant impact on the federal budget.

More Information

In-Depth: In 2013, both the Senate and the House passed a version of this bill, as part of a plan to suspend the debt limit. Under that measure, lawmakers would not get their paychecks unless each chamber passed a budget by April 15. 

So why bother re-introducing this bill? That last bill never required both chambers to agree on a unified budget resolution.

This is all to say that when you're making over $170,000 a year, missing a few paychecks probably won't be the end of the world for you. 

Congress’s inability to come to an agreement on a budget has highlighted the disconnect between those in Washington D.C. and those outside the Beltway. For families and business owners, establishing a budget is a routine procedure, yet between April 29, 2009 and March 24, 2013 the Senate did not pass a budget.

The willingness of members of Congress to delay their own paychecks has also emphasized the divide. For a member of Congress the minimum salary is currently $174,000, and the median income for Americans is just over $43,000. In 2011, the median net worth for a member of Congress was $966,000, while the typical household net worth for Americans as a whole is under $67,000.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Flickr user Gamma Man)

AKA

No Budget, No Pay Act

Official Title

A bill to provide that Members of Congress may not receive pay after October 1 of any fiscal year in which Congress has not approved a concurrent resolution on the budget and passed the regular appropriations bills.

    Lets take away congressional healthcare while we're at it---or at least restrict it in exactly the same way the ACA is being stripped.
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    Instead of withholding pay, this bill should be amended to prevent congress from going on recess until there is an approved budget.
    Like (4092)
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    While my initial reaction is to support this bill I cannot shake a fear that this will discourage nonwealthy individuals from serving in Congress because they maybe the ones most impacted by a pay freeze while the wealthy members of Congress can go about their normal business without any major impact to their life. This bill could eventually make pay as a weapon against members of Congress from less wealthy communities. Instead I believe it would be better to have a bill that prohibits Congress from going on recess when a budget has not been approved.
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    What we should be withholding is vacation days. No one should have a day off until a consensus has been reached.
    Like (1121)
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    With a minimum salary requirement of $170k they can afford a missed paycheck. The government employees whose paycheck will be cut if there is a government freeze cannot.
    Like (540)
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    Congress needs to learn to work together for the good of the nation. They shouldn't be in charge of their own pay, pay raises, medical care or retirement benefits. Term limits are a must.
    Like (486)
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    I understand the sentiment of no pay for no work, but this is obstructionist. I don't want my representatives to be forced to choose when they aren't happy with the options available, especially if it's in the interest of the people that they represent. I do think that withholding vacation time could be a viable alternative.
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    This is what we need!!!!! Congressional Reform Act of 2017 1. No Tenure / No Pension. A Congressman / woman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they're out of office. 2. Congress (past, present, & future) participates in Social Security. All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system, and Congress participates with the American people. It may not be used for any other purpose. 3. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans do. 4. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%. 5. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people. 6. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people. 7. All contracts with past and present Congressmen/women are void effective 3/1/17. The American people did not make this contract with Congressmen/women. Congress made all these contracts for themselves. Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve their term(s), then go home and go back to work.
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    I don't think with holding pay to get results is the answer, but withhold vacation days that I think would work
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    huge part of their job. if most people do do their job, they don't get paid. congress should be no different
    Like (136)
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    On the surface, this appears to be viable; however, the implications involved for the less wealthy representatives would not serve the people that they represent. An alternative penalty is withholding vacation and/or recess.
    Like (129)
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    I like the idea, but I feel this bill will create a congress of wealthy people, who can get away with not having a paycheck. We need diversity in our senate, including financial and class diversity.
    Like (95)
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    If my coworkers and I do not perform at one of our most important duties time and time again, we would have been fired long ago. With their salaries, they can afford temporary government shutdown the majority of the American people cannot. I may not agree with everyone at my job, but the main objective is to work together to complete the mission. Our senators and representatives must do the same without the gimmicks, loopholes, selfishness and games. They should not get paid for work they do not do.
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    You need to do your job in order to reap the benefits. Nothing is more basic to your job than passing a budget.
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    When congress doesn't pass a budget it causes a shutdown of all government services and they do not get compensated. They shouldn't be receiving salary in the even that this happens because it's extremely destructive.
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    All the benefits they get: treat them like employees! No work/ no pay. Healthcare just like the rest of us!
    Like (31)
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    They should put those missed salaries in escrow accounts and distribute those funds to the working class federal workers who suffer the most when budgets are not passed.
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    In a perfect world it makes sense but it isn't. Withholding pay for a deadline could cause legislators to miss facts related to the budgetary process or even fail to consider the full consequences of passing a rushed and improperly vetted bill. I would much rather see legislators be required to stay during the recess than pay frozen.
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    Absolutely.THIS IS WHERE WE CAN CHANGE AMERICA FOR ALL AMERICANS! The BUFFETT Rule Salary of retired US Presidents .. . . . .. . . . . .. . $180,000 FOR LIFE. Salary of House/Senate members .. . . . .. . . . $174,000 FOR LIFE. Salary of Speaker of the House .. . . . .. . . . . $223,500 FOR LIFE. Salary of Majority / Minority Leaders . . .. . . . . $193,400 FOR LIFE. Average Salary of a teacher . . .. . . . .. . . . . .. .$40,065 Average Salary of a deployed Soldier . . .. . . . $38,000 Here’s where the cuts should be made! "I could end the deficit in five minutes," he told CNBC. "You just pass a law that says that anytime there is a deficit of more than 3% of GDP, all sitting members of Congress are ineligible for re-election". Congressional Reform Act of 2017 1. No Tenure / No Pension. A Congressman / woman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they're out of office. 2. Congress (past, present, & future) participates in Social Security. All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system, and Congress participates with the American people. It may not be used for any other purpose. 3. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans do. 4. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%. 5. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people. 6. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people. 7. All contracts with past and present Congressmen/women are void effective 3/1/17. The American people did not make this contract with Congressmen/women. Congress made all these contracts for themselves. Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve their term(s), then go home and go back to work. If each person contacts a minimum of twenty people, then it will only take three days for most people in the U.S. to receive the message. It's time!
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    This bill should go steps further and not only halt pay, but cease health care, pension benefits and recess until Congress can come to a viable budget agreement.
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