'No Budget, No Pay' To Fuel Congressional Budget Talks | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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'No Budget, No Pay' To Fuel Congressional Budget Talks

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Lawmakers won't get checks until they can pass a budget.
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Lawmakers won't get checks until they can pass a budget.

The bill passed by the House to extend the nation's debt ceiling leaves in place steep budget cuts that could hurt the economy in the region. This time around, lawmakers hope a simple provision included in the bill will force a compromise: if there's no budget, lawmakers get their paychecks withheld.

"It's kind of a slick gimmick," says Virginia Democrat Gerry Connolly, who supported the bill avoiding default.

But he says it's now up to Speaker Boehner to rally his troops behind a compromise measure redirecting hundreds of billions of dollars in scheduled budget cuts.

"So this is an unacceptable outcome," Connolly says. "I hope reasonable minds will prevail. We can't continue to kick the can down the road. And it's time for folks around here on a bipartisan basis to step up to their adult responsibilities on behalf of the country."

Virginia Republican Scott Rigell was one of the first congressmen to support "No Budget, No Pay." He says that provision will help House Republicans make targeted spending cuts, because they'll have a negotiating partner.

"The Senate will have a lot more incentive to pass a budget and indeed the House will," Rigell says. "This provides some clarity as to where the two stand with respect to where we ought to go as the American people with respect to our budget."

The Senate still needs to vote to extend the debt ceiling. Then the battle over spending cuts will start all over again.

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