Legislative Branch

Congress Loses Pay Day for Day US Budget Not Approved

For every day beyond September 30th that the Government Budget is not approved, all Congress members (House and Senate) will lose a day’s pay without the ability to re-gain that pay. In any other job, individuals are required to make decisions and stick to deadlines. Because of our House and Senates inability to come to a resolution on the budget in a timely manner, often waiting until the last day or two to implement a stop-gap, it wastes countless resources (both inside and outside the Government) in preparation for a potential furlough/stop-work. This fiscal year was extremely excessive; while Congress was trying to “reduce” the spending and waste they were in fact, creating it. Additionally, by not allow new programs to begin and old ones to end, funding levels were stuck at the previous FY levels and even today (July 26th) this fiscal year’s budget still has not been completely allocated and yet we are still expected to spend this year’s budget and stay on track.

 

Therefore, in order to make sure that the Government agencies are allowed to run in a manner which would allow them to cost-effectively utilize their budgets rather than scramble the second half of the FY trying to make sure the budget gets spent, those that are responsible for setting the budget should be held personally accountable. And there is no better driver than hitting then in the pocketbook. With an average salary of $174,000, it could lead to considerable salary savings if this is implemented. Rough math, but with 535 Congress Members, that’s approximately $93M in salary per year. That would be approximately $358K per day savings. Though that seems like nothing in the grand scheme of the Government budget, the impact is not wasting Government and Contractor resources preparing for a Government shutdown, but instead focusing on efficiently utilizing budget allocation to complete Agency requirements. If the Congress members felt a personal impact/pressure then they would most likely be more apt to try and come to an agreement before the deadline, rather than skirt the line as they have been doing (prime examples are the FY11 budget and now the debt ceiling).

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Idea No. 18209