The House has passed a plan to force the Senate to pass a budget, something they haven't done in 4 years. It also states that if they don't pass a budget by April 15th their pay will be withheld until they do.
Do you agree with this bill that the Senate needs to do their job and pass a budget in order to get paid?
The House voted Wednesday for a short-term debt ceiling fix that would extend the country?s borrowing authority until May ? while also applying a controversial provision that would suspend lawmakers? pay if they don?t pass a budget by April.
The bill passed on a 285-144 vote. The measure, if approved by the Senate, would buy lawmakers some breathing room to hammer out details for a more permanent solution.
Under the proposal, Congress would withhold the pay of lawmakers in the House or the Senate if their chamber fails to pass a budget by April 15. The Republican plan would also allow the government to keep borrowing through May 18.
"Over the last four years, House Republicans have offered plans. Our budget plans -- we've done our budgets. But it's been nearly four years since the Senate has done a budget," Speaker John Boehner said Tuesday. "Most Americans believe: you don't do your job, you shouldn't get paid. That's the basis for a no-budget, no pay. It's time for the Senate to act."
The debt ceiling poses the first legislative battle of President Obama's second term and one that could determine whether the country once again risks default over a political fight.
House Republicans have passed budgets for two consecutive years, but the Senate hasn't passed one since Obama's first year in office.
In rough terms, the government spends about $250 billion a month. Of that, $36 billion is to pay off the existing $16.4 trillion in debt ? about $8.3 billion a month more than in 2008.
By deciding to spend without budgeting, Democrats have left themselves wide open to the current showdown.
Rather than having the politically dangerous regular budget process, the Obama Democrats have opted for straight spending bills for most of the president?s first term.
When a budget is completed, as the rules require, hawks and spenders have to reach some agreement about how much to spend and tax and borrow. Deals are made and politically painful votes are cast.
Obama was cross and crabby at the final press conference of his first term, scowling in exasperation at Republicans who want to use the debt limit as leverage.
But it was the political calculation by Democrats to spend without budgeting ? to avoid the process by which the pleasure of spending and pain of borrowing and taxing are intertwined ? that has left the president in this bind.