Congressman Jim Bridenstine commented, “Members of Congress represent their constituents most directly when they work through the process of appropriating funds for government programs. I have long objected to ‘Continuing Resolutions’ and ‘Omnibus’ spending bills that sidestep this important representational process.”
The ‘Do Your Job Act’, sponsored by Congressman Brad Wenstrup (OH) and cosponsored by Congressmen Jim Bridenstine (OK), Jim Jordan (OH), and Thomas Massie (KY), requires Congress to engage in the appropriation process. If either the House or the Senate fails to vote on all 12 regular annual appropriations bills by the end of the fiscal year, Members of that chamber will not get paid.
Further information is provided in Congressman Wenstrup’s press release:
House Members Propose Withholding Pay until Congress Votes on All Appropriations
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congress fails to earn even a participation trophy, says Congressman Brad Wenstrup, and now he’s threatening to withhold Congressional paychecks until that improves.
Looking to end the last minute spending deals caused by a refusal to even vote on appropriation bills, Wenstrup is introducing the Do Your Job Act to return to encourage members to vote on spending bills well before funding runs out. Joined by Jim Bridenstine, Jim Jordan, and Thomas Massie, the legislation seeks to withhold pay from members of Congress if they failed to vote on each appropriation bill before the end of the fiscal year on September 30th.
“If we don’t fulfill the responsibilities of our office, we shouldn’t get paid. That may require some tough votes,” Wenstrup said, pointing to the fact that the Senate had voted on only two of sixty appropriations bills in the last five years. “A three percent participation rate in the Senate is unacceptable – that’s not even worthy of a participation trophy, let alone a paycheck.”
A critical part of the Do Your Job Act requires spending bills be open to amendments in the House, Wenstrup noted. “This means that no spending bill could be rushed into a simple up or down vote without an opportunity for members to offer amendments.”
Echoing No Budget, No Pay that passed in 2013, the Do Your Job Act would require each chamber vote on the twelve regular appropriations bills, ranging from Defense to Agriculture, by the end of the fiscal year. A failure to cast all twelve votes by either chamber would trigger a provision to withhold pay from members of that chamber.
“The American people are fed up with last second spending deals that don’t reflect their priorities,” Wenstrup said. “With a little incentive, I hope my colleagues in Washington may finally do the work the American people expect of us. We should vote well before last-minute deadlines so everyone has the opportunity to consider and debate how the government spends taxpayer money in an open and transparent way.”
Office of Representative Brad Wenstrup
CD01 Staff for Bridenstine
Congressman Jim Bridenstine was elected in 2012 to represent Oklahoma’s First District, which covers Washington, Tulsa, Wagoner Counties plus portions of Rogers & Creek Counties. Bridenstine serves on the House Armed Services Committee and the Science, Space and Technology Committee. To see more of his articles visit Bridenstine.house.gov