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Time For Congress To Do Its Job

By Rep. Ron DeSantis(R-FL)

RonDeSantisHow many Americans could stop doing their job and still receive a regular paycheck? Probably not very many — unless you are a member of the U.S. Congress.

Even though Congress is mandated by law to pass a budget, the U.S. Senate has not passed a budget in more than 1,350 days. Lawmakers here in Washington have neglected to carry out their legal responsibilities, yet they continue to receive both the pay and perquisites of office.

This is not right and is not consistent with what the Founding Fathers intended.

That is why I’m joining the Fix Congress Now Caucus, a bipartisan coalition that advocates for innovative solutions to the dysfunction in Washington. Last year, Fix Congress Now co-founder Jim Cooper, D-Tenn., introduced the No Budget, No Pay Act, which would have required Congress to pass spending bills and a budget by Oct. 1 every year or face the penalty of not getting paid. This concept has garnered support from both Republican and Democratic lawmakers who recognize that our nation needs a major course correction, and I intend to co-sponsor No Budget, No Pay legislation during the 113th Congress.

Members of Congress should be held to the same standards as the people they represent. It is unthinkable that American citizens could simply flout their responsibilities — much less the law — and not face consequences. Congress’ lack of accountability is just one of many reasons that Washington is a mess, spending is out of control, and our national debt is in the trillions. The suspension of congressional pay if a budget is not passed in a timely manner is one way to ensure some level of accountability.

The Senate’s disregard of its responsibility to pass a budget has implications beyond the budget process. As James Madison pointed out in The Federalist Papers, the precept that the law needs to apply to elected officials is a vital component of republican government. Representatives are supposed to be servants of the people, not a ruling class separate from the citizenry and immune from the law.

Working with the Fix Congress Now Caucus and supporting No Budget, No Pay are just the first steps in getting Congress back to the basics. I also plan to refuse a pension, and decline health benefits, as a way of demonstrating my commitment to reforming Congress.

It will not be easy to change the culture of Congress, but the No Budget, No Pay proposal will be a good start. After all, most Americans would agree that there is simply no reason why Americans should be taxed so that members of Congress can get paid for failing to do their jobs.


Congressman Ron DeSantis is a newly elected Republican member of the U.S. Congress. DeSantis sits on the House Judiciary Commitee, the House Committee on Government Reform and Oversight, and the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

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Javier Manjarres

As the managing editor of The Shark Tank, Javier was awarded the 2011 CPAC Blogger of the Year. Countless videos and articles from the Shark Tank have been featured on Fox News, The Hill, Wall Street Journal, and other national news publications. Javier has also appeared on Univision’s “Al Punto” and numerous radio shows, including being the weekly 92.5 Fox News' DayBreak with Drew Steele political contributor

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  • Judy

    A budget is definitely needed, but it should also be reasonable and responsible. If the Senate is not passing the budget there must be a good reason. Would passing the proposed budgets mandate an increase in the debt ceiling? If so, then they should not be forced to pass it. Cuts should be made so that they will pass it.

  • Lowie

    The Senate did present a budget 1350 days ago and it’s members rejected it. The House of Representatives present it’s budget by law to the Senate which have been ignored by the Senate leadership. This is not the way to run a business or a government that has 2 million on it’s payroll. Newly elected Congressman DeSantis is from the Northeaster part of the state that ran on changing the”tax and spend” culture in Washingtonn and this is a good first step. What I hope he does is to attach a Term Limit provision that will stop once and for all the spiral that has caused the inflation of costs of goods and services. Thank you for posing this article. Ron DeSantis is a good citizen and a patriot. His presence will bring common sense to all that is wrong in Washington, D.C.