Senate Votes on “No Budget, No Pay”
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Today, the Senate is scheduled to vote on the “No Budget, No Pay Act” (HR. 325,). The bill is designed to “ensure the complete and timely payment of obligations” and will temporarily suspend the debt limit through May 19. After that date, the current limit of $16.4 trillion would be raised by the amount of borrowing incurred during the suspension. The Bipartisan Policy Center has estimated that the debt ceiling would need to be raised by $450 billion in May.
If enacted, this bill would require that Congress pass a budget by April 15 or suffer a delay in salary payments. While salaries may be delayed, it is important to note that Congress will be paid eventually. If the House and the Senate do not pass a budget by April 15, compensation will be deposited into a separate account and would not be touched until a budget is passed, or until the last day of the 113th Congress. It is important to note that the House and Senate do not have to pass the same budget.
The House did pass a budget resolution last year, but the real challenge remains in the Democrat-controlled Senate, where they have not passed a budget in nearly four years. As noted in our previous post, Congress cannot keep kicking the can down the road. There comes a point where perpetuating this sugar high of excessive government spending can lead to a major crash.