Congressman Wants Members of Congress to Lose Their Paychecks in Event of Default

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By on July 27, 2011 in Current Events with 29 Comments

Congressman Jim Cooper (D-TN) plans to introduce legislation that would
prohibit members of Congress from being paid in the event that the
United States defaults on the national debt. Additionally, the
legislation would prohibit Congressmen from receiving backpay
retroactively in the event of default.

Cooper is a long time advocate of a bipartisan debt plan that
reduces spending, reforms the tax code and puts the country on a
sustainable fiscal path. Last week, he sent a letter
to John Boehner (R-OH) and Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) urging them to allow a
vote on the “Gang of Six” bipartisan proposal that would have reduced
the debt by almost $4 trillion over the next ten years.

“Failure is not an option. But, if default occurs, another paycheck
for congressmen and senators should not be an option either,” said
Cooper when speaking about the legislation. “Debt and deficits are a
bipartisan problem, requiring a bipartisan solution. I am doing
everything possible to get Congress to act responsibly by paying its
bills on time, reducing the growth of future spending, keeping our
interest rates low and strengthening our weak economy. Time is running

Cooper was also the co-sponsor of the SAFE Commission Act (H.R. 1557)
which was the model for the National Commission on Fiscal
Responsibility and Reform (also known as the Deficit Commission, created
by President Obama). The Gang of Six used the framework of the
President’s Commission to produce their bipartisan proposal.

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About the Author

Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of He enjoys writing about current topics that affect the federal workforce.