The Daily Gamecock

‘No budget, no pay’ step in right direction

Congress’s inability to decide inexcusable


How long Congress can continue to raise the debt ceiling is still debatable. But whether you are for or against the recent passage of House Republican’s bill to extend the federal government’s borrowing power for another three months, there is one provision undoubtedly a step in the right direction: Congress’s salaries will be temporarily withheld if it does not pass a federal budget by April 15. It’s called the “no budget, no pay” measure, and with its passage, Congress is held financially responsible for doing at least part of its job.

This kind of accountability makes sense. The majority of working Americans face immediate consequences if they don’t do their job, push the sales and crunch the numbers on time. After the fiscal cliff debacle and the persistent “kick the can” mentality whenever a deadline approaches, many Americans are fed up with Congress’s inability to do what it is supposed to. After all, a federal budget is one of the only laws it is required to pass — in essence, it is the only task it has to do. 

But time and time again, Congress has fought, waited until the last second and neglected to complete this task. Having strongly opposed ideologies is no excuse. Anyone who has worked in a team setting knows the “we couldn’t agree on anything” defense does not excuse you from completing the task. Every working American has to compromise on a regular basis to ensure the job gets done. Congress should be no exception.

The new act may not end the insufferable gridlock, but it’s at least a step in the right direction.