Pass a Budget, or Forego Your Salary

Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-IL) has introduced the Congressional Pay Accountability Act which, if passed, would require members of Congress to pass a budget before they could be paid.

The shutdown saga from last week had many people on edge. Federal employees weren’t sure if they were going to come to work and get paid, and members of Congress were fiercely debating among each other over the budget terms.

The FY 2011 budget appears to be resolved now, even though the federal government is (at the time of this writing) operating on another stopgap resolution, and the 2011 fiscal year began on October 1, 2010.  At least one Congressman thinks the process is taking too long and wants to give Congress some extra incentive in the future to get budgets passed.

Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-IL) has introduced the Congressional Pay Accountability Act (HR 1454). If passed, the legislation would require Congress to pass a budget and all appropriations bills, thereby ensuring that the government is fully funded for a given fiscal year, by the beginning of that fiscal year. If that is not done, members of Congress won’t get paid until the appropriations process for that fiscal year has been completed.

Speaking on the matter, Hultgren said, “In Washington, we’re finally wrapping up work on a budget for this year. We’re doing this because the last Congress never bothered to pass a budget. This is outrageous to me – and I know it’s outrageous to many of my constituents as well. Outside of Washington, getting paid only when you do your job would sound like common sense; unfortunately, that’s not the case here.”

About the Author

Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of He has over 20 years of combined experience in media and government services, having worked at two government contracting firms and an online news and web development company prior to his current role at FedSmith.