All but two Alabama lawmakers vote for “no budget, no pay”

Published 6:54 pm Friday, February 1, 2013

Alabama representatives in Washington presented an almost united front when it came to “no budget, no pay” – a provision that would temporarily withhold the pay of lawmakers if they failed to produce a budget this year.

Rep. Jo Bonner (R-AL-01), Rep. Martha Roby (R-AL-02), Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL-03), Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-AL-04), Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-AL-06) and Rep. Terri Sweell (D-AL-07) all voted to pass the bill, as did Sen. Richard Shelby (R).

Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL-06) and Sen. Jeff Sessions (R) voted against the plan.

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“This is a victory for conservatives who are fighting to get our nation’s fiscal house in order,” said Rep. Roby. “Hopefully the Senate’s passage of the ‘No Budget, No Pay Act’ means the countless voices of Americans calling for fiscal restraint and accountability are being heard.”

Despite his voting “no” on the bill, Roby said Sessions “deserves a lot of credit for this as it was his original plan to put lawmakers’ paychecks on the chopping block for not passing a budget.”

The “no budget, no pay” string was attached to a debt limit measure that allows the U.S. Treasury to borrow more than the current $16.4 trillion debt limit through May 18 to prevent government default.

“No budget, no pay” was designed by House Republicans as a way to force the Senate to pass a budget. This year, the Democrat majority in the Senate has said they will pass a budget and the House notes that representatives are eager to compare plans.

“It’s been more than four years since the Senate has passed a budget,” Roby said. “That has forced the government to operate on expensive temporary spending bills that just pile up more debt. The ‘No Budget, No Pay Act is designed to force the Senate’s hand to finally pass a real, responsible budget.”

In all, 50 Democrats, 12 Republicans and two independents voted in favor of the debt limit bill, while 33 Republicans and Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia opposed it.

The bill has been sent to President Barack Obama and the White House reports Obama will sign it. Obama’s budget is due to be made public later this month.

Treasury Department officials have said that as soon as the debit limit legislation is signed by the President, the Treasury will begin taking steps to reverse the measures used in the last month to avoid exceeding the debt limit.