In-Depth: Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN) reintroduced this bill from the 115th Congress to block lawmakers from receiving paychecks if Congress fails to pass a budget:
“No budget, no pay is simply something we do to put some teeth into the fact that [the budget process] has become a circus annually. You’d be laughed out of Indiana if this was anything close to how we do things there. When you come from a place as an entrepreneur, as a business guy you be laughed at if or you would be run of out of business through the harsh rules for the marketplace if you ran a business, a school board, or a state legislature like you do here. You need to be collectively accountable, and here with one year’s warning, get a budget here, you should be forced to do so and go where it really hurts and do not receive a paycheck.”
"Those of us that are [in Congress] have to put our money where our mouth is and we cannot get so far away from regular order in running the biggest business in the world, the federal government in such a sloppy way. If you get to the new budget year and you do not have a budget in place, I don't think anybody that's here, that’s had a year to work on it should get a paycheck. And then I'm hoping in both the House and the Senate. This one to me would be a good bill and like I said, it's applicable to today's times because we're not getting budgets done."
“Congress is the only place in America where you get paid for showing up but not doing your work. I would rather reward members for good behavior. But the reality is when you threaten members of Congress, Congress finds a way to do its job.”
Romina Boccia, director of the Grover M. Hermann Center for the Federal Budget at the Heritage Foundation, expressed her support for this bill in an op-ed in The Daily Signal
"[Sen. Braun's bill] is a promising proposal in that it would give lawmakers more of a stake in completing a successful budget process cycle. The last time lawmakers passed all 12 spending bills on time was in 1996... Most Americans have to perform at least the minimal requirements of their jobs if they want to get paid. The same should hold for lawmakers. That’s just fair... We must revive the federal budget process as a critical tool to accomplish fiscal discipline. The No Budget, No Pay Act introduced by Braun offers one promising path to incentivizing lawmakers to follow the law. At the very least, it might embarrass them when they have to go back to their district and explain why they failed to earn their paycheck this year."
Some members of Congress' willingness 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. Given members of Congress are making over $170,000 a year, missing a few paychecks probably won't be the end of the world for them.