December 15, 2011

"No budget, no pay" | The Bluefield Daily Telegraph

Millions of Americans are growing increasingly disillusioned with Congress, and its apparent inability to compromise or agree upon anything. Now you can add U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin to the list of those disgusted with the partisan gridlock in Washington.

Manchin, D-W.Va., has joined a bipartisan group of lawmakers in introducing legislation that would prevent fellow lawmakers from getting a paycheck if they can’t agree on a budget. The measure aims to restore civility and common sense to Congress — something that has been sorely missing in recent months.

The “No Budget, No Pay,” legislation is just one of the initiatives included in the “Make Congress Work” agenda, a 12point proposal that seeks to change the way Congress does business. Manchin joined fellow lawmakers and “No Labels” — a group of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents who are dedicated to taking partisan politics out of government — in announcing the welcomed plan Tuesday.

“Everyone around here is so focused on who they can blame for the problems facing this nation, and how they can score political points for the next election. That is not what we were sent here to do,” Manchin correctly argues. “We should be thinking about the next generation and how we can help our children and our children’s children succeed in an America that is as strong as ever. We should be working together on the ways we can make America an even better country, and that is what I hope this ‘Make Congress Work’ agenda will help us accomplish.”

The proposed legislation seeks to:

• Dock the pay of lawmakers for each day that they fail to pass the budget and all appropriations bills for the next fiscal year before the prior fiscal year ends.

• Require that all presidential nominations for executive and judicial positions be confirmed or rejected within 90 days after the Senate receives the completed nomination.

• Empower the sensible majority by reforming House and Senate procedures to fast-track legislation with majority support.

• Change the congressional work schedule so that Congress can get the American people’s work done.

• Institute a regular “question period” that brings Congress and the president together.

• Ensure that members of Congress should be bound by no pledges except the Oath of Office.

• Eliminate partisan seating in all joint meetings or sessions and on committees and subcommittees.

While we doubt this proposal will pass the full Senate and House, it most certainly should. Shame on any lawmaker who would oppose this logical measure.

Partisan bickering, political fighting and the simple inability of lawmakers to agree upon anything has rendered Congress nearly ineffective in recent months. Manchin is correct. It’s time to restore some good common sense, and some much needed civility, to Congress.

If lawmakers can’t get anything done, and can’t agree on anything, their pay should most certainly be docked.

Someone who isn’t doing their job in corporate America would not only have their pay docked, they would most likely be fired.

If lawmakers can’t do the job they were elected to do, they, too, will most certainly be fired when voters return to the polls in November of 2012.

Source: Bipartisan legislation targets lawmakers