Wenstrup: Congress Fails to Even Get a Participation Trophy
House Members Propose Withholding Pay until Congress Votes on All Appropriations
Washington, February 5, 2016
Congress fails to earn even a participation trophy, says Congressman Brad Wenstrup, and now he’s threatening to withhold Congressional paychecks until that improves.
Looking to end the last minute spending deals caused by a refusal to even vote on appropriation bills, Wenstrup is introducing the Do Your Job Act to return to encourage members to vote on spending bills well before funding runs out. Joined by Jim Bridenstine, RSC Chairman Bill Flores, Jim Jordan, and Thomas Massie, the legislation seeks to withhold pay from members of Congress if they failed to vote on each appropriation bill before the end of the fiscal year on September 30th.
“If we don’t fulfill the responsibilities of our office, we shouldn’t get paid. That may require some tough votes,” Wenstrup said, pointing to the fact that the Senate had voted on only two of sixty appropriations bills in the last five years. “A three percent participation rate in the Senate is unacceptable – that’s not even worthy of a participation trophy, let alone a paycheck.”
A critical part of the Do Your Job Act requires spending bills be open to amendments in the House, Wenstrup noted. “This means that no spending bill could be rushed into a simple up or down vote without an opportunity for members to offer amendments.”
Echoing No Budget, No Pay that passed in 2013, the Do Your Job Act would require each chamber vote on the twelve regular appropriations bills, ranging from Defense to Agriculture, by the end of the fiscal year. A failure to cast all twelve votes by either chamber would trigger a provision to withhold pay from members of that chamber.
“The American people are fed up with last second spending deals that don’t reflect their priorities,” Wenstrup said. “With a little incentive, I hope my colleagues in Washington may finally do the work the American people expect of us. We should vote well before last-minute deadlines so everyone has the opportunity to consider and debate how the government spends taxpayer money in an open and transparent way.”