Issue Background

Fight Deficit Spending

The argument here is simple. In every other sector of life, one is paid for performance. Congress does a terrible job, and gets to vote itself a raise. In fact, their salary increases are automatic. That's quite a gig! And the reason they get away with it is that we, the people, haven't made them change to a system that ties their compensation to the quality of their work.

In past years, others have proposed limits or even freezes on Congressional pay, tied to performance. This bill is the strongest. Only this bill proposes to cut pay for budgetary bungling.

The next step is to get lots of co-sponsors for this bill. Rep. Blum needs your help. Your Representative should co-sponsor. Your Senators should introduce the bill in the Senate.

Our Educate the Powerful System enables you to send instructions to all of your elected representatives with just one message. Please send a letter now.

This bill has only been introduced in the House, by Representative Rod Blum (R-IA-1). We also need a Senate sponsor.

Co-sponsors -- 1 of them -- as of February 26, 2016: Ron DeSantis [R-FL-6]

Former Rep. Nathan Deal (R-GA) introduced the bill for the last time in 2009. Deal left Congress to become Governor of Georgia. After the GOP took control of Congress in January, 2011, the bill was NOT reintroduced. But four former co-sponsors of the bill are still in Congress: Rep. Rob Bishop [UT-1], Rep Jeff Miller [FL-1], Rep Pete Olson [TX-22], and Rep Lynn A. Westmoreland [GA-3] -- so they seem like logical targets for co-sponsorship again.

 

114th CONGRESS
2nd Session
H. R. 4476

To provide that pay for Members of Congress be reduced following any fiscal year in which there is a Federal deficit.

 

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
February 4, 2016

 

Mr. BLUM of Georgia introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on House Administration, and in addition to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned

 

A BILL

 

To provide that pay for Members of Congress be reduced following any fiscal year in which there is a Federal deficit.

 

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

 

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

 

This Act may be cited as the 'Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2016'.

 

SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS.

 

For the purpose of this Act--

 

(1) a 'deficit' shall be considered to exist in a fiscal year if total budget outlays of the Government for such fiscal year exceed total revenues of the Government for such fiscal year (as determined under section 3(d)); and

 

(2) the term 'Member of Congress' or 'Member' means an individual serving in a position referred to in section 601(a)(1) of the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946 (2 U.S.C. 4501(1)).

 

SEC. 3. EFFECT OF A DEFICIT.

 

(a) In General- Notwithstanding any other provision of law, if there is a deficit in a fiscal year, then--

 

(1) any pay adjustment for Members of Congress scheduled to take effect under section 601(a) of the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946 (2 U.S.C. 4501) in the succeeding calendar year shall be null and void; and

 

(2) effective as of the first day of the first pay period beginning in that succeeding calendar year, rates of basic pay for Members of Congress shall be reduced (from the rate in effect as of the day before the start of such succeeding calendar year) by the amount determined under subsection (b), but not below zero.

 

(b) Reductions Required- The reduction required under this subsection is as follows:

 

(1) If the reduction is to take effect in a calendar year that does not immediately follow another calendar year in which a reduction under this section was made, the reduction amount shall be equal to 5 percent of the rate of basic pay last in effect before such reduction is made.

 

(2) If the reduction is to take effect in a calendar year that immediately follows another calendar year in which a reduction under this section was made, the reduction amount shall be equal to 10 percent of the rate of basic pay last in effect before the most recent reduction under paragraph (1) was made.

 

(c) Conditions for Restoration- If, following one or more years in which Members’ pay is reduced under this Act, there occurs a fiscal year in which there is no deficit, then, effective as of the first day of the first pay period in the succeeding calendar year (and until another deficit triggering the preceding provisions of this section occurs)--

 

(1) rates of basic pay for Members shall be restored to the highest rate that was at any time previously payable for the office involved; and

 

(2) pay adjustments scheduled to take effect on or after such first day under the provision of law referred to in subsection (a)(1) shall be effective.

 

(d) Determinations- Determinations of whether or not a deficit exists in any fiscal year shall, for purposes of this Act, be made by the Director of the Congressional Budget Office. In making any such determination, the Director shall exclude any budget outlays resulting from a formal declaration of war by Congress.

 

SEC. 4. EFFECTIVE DATE.

 

This Act shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act, except that no determination under section 3(d) shall be made with respect to any fiscal year before fiscal year 2016.

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