WASHINGTON - Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore.,, issued the following statement upon Wednesday's House passage of the "No Budget, No Pay" plan:
"In our part of Oregon, families sit down around their kitchen tables and figure out how to balance their budgets. It's time for Washington, D.C. to do the same," he said. "If hard-working taxpayers don't do their jobs, they don't get paid. Congress needs to live by the same rules — no budget, no pay.
"While the House has passed a budget each of the last two years, the Senate has failed to do so in nearly four," Walden said. "The last time the Senate passed a budget — in 2009 — the iPad hadn't even been invented yet!
"Congress must write a responsible budget to get our fiscal house in order. Only then will we be able to create a good, strong American economy where people can get a job that pays the bills."
The "No Budget, No Pay" plan withholds pay from members of the House and Senate if their chamber does not pass a budget by April 15. The measure also temporarily suspends the debt ceiling until May 18 to set up a broader debate about responsible spending.
Actually, there's an out of sorts -- it's more "No Budget, No Pay (Right Away)."
As The New York Times reported: "The debt ceiling legislation - mindful of constitutional hurdles imposed by the 27th Amendment on congressional pay - would simply impound lawmaker salaries until a budget is passed or the 113th Congress ends, whichever comes first.
"And it would not require the House and the Senate to come to a compromise on the two spending and tax blueprints, which are likely to be very different. That will be the really difficult task," the newspaper said.
Asked about that part of the legislation, Walden spokesman Andrew Malcolm told KTVZ.COM, "The Senate needs to at least put a plan on the table -- they haven't passed a budget since April 2009."
"Remember, it only takes 50 votes to pass a budget resolution in the Senate, not 60," Malcolm said. "I understand that the chair of the Senate Budget Committee announced today that they will write and pass a budget this year, so perhaps threatening to withhold their pay has finally spurred them to action."