Last week the House of Representatives passed a measure aimed at forcing the United States Senate to pass a budget for the first time in four years. The No Budget, No Pay legislation requires the Senate to pass a fiscally conscious budget before increasing the debt ceiling. If the Senate does not pass a budget, Senators will not receive a pay check.
In households across the First District, a budget is essentially a statement of priorities. Families prioritize money for a mortgage, college education and tithing, because those expenditures reflect their values. Budgets help keep families from spending money they do not have and hopefully gives people the ability to save dollars for hard times. The Senate would be wise to learn from families across the country and develop a responsible budget.
The Senate's lackadaisical attitude when it comes to budgeting is irresponsible and unsustainable. Our country has a serious spending-driven debt crisis that threatens our economic and national security. Current and former political, military and world leaders have called on Congress and the President to rein in the out-of-control spending. A former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff stated that "A nation with our current levels of unsustainable debt...cannot hope to sustain for very long its superiority from a military perspective, or its influence in world affairs." Passing a budget would be a meaningful step towards confronting our record spending and debt. I remain a staunch advocate for enacting permanent spending controls, like a Balanced Budget Amendment. Together, we must overcome political unwillingness and put the good of future generations of American ahead of the inability to make tough decisions.
No working person in America gets paid for not doing their job, and members of Congress shouldn't either. The American people put their faith in us when they elected each member last November, and it is up to us to hold ourselves accountable to get our country out of debt while getting our economy back on track. During my first term in the House of Representatives, a budget was passed each year. As the House continues to offer workable solutions, I hope the President and the Senate will be willing partners in getting our debt under control.