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One way to force compromise in Congress: No budget, no pay

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The No Budget, No Pay Act requires both chambers of Congress to pass a budget and all 12 appropriations bills by Oct. 1 of that fiscal year. If this requirement is not met, then members of Congress will not get paid salaries for every day the budget and appropriations bills aren’t passed. And they couldn't recoup pay retroactively either. It is the same premise behind why every hard-working American gets up to go to work each morning: You don’t do the work, you don’t get paid.

By holding Congress’ feet to the fire, each chamber would be incentivized to work together and pass each of the 12 spending bills.

The No Budget, No Pay Act will hopefully make “continuing resolutions” and government shutdowns a thing of the past. There is already broad bipartisan support for the bill: 22 Democrats and 33 Republicans have signed on to the House version. We are calling on House leadership to hold a hearing on this bill and get it to the House floor for a vote. Sen. Dean Heller (R) of Nevada introduced this same bill in the Senate, and the bill has already collected bipartisan support there.

In the coming weeks and months, we will draw attention to similar-minded reforms that will improve the way Washington functions, including addressing the budget process, committee structure, and generally elevating the tone of our debate here in Washington.

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