This measure stands as a symbol of our commitment to getting our fiscal house in order. In this era of economic recovery, exploding deficits and impending sequestration, we need our government to operate as efficiently as it can. That simply isn’t possible unless federal departments and agencies have the financial certainty they need to plan for the future. And that, in turn, isn’t possible when Congress kicks the can down the road and forces them to operate without a budget. With such uncertainty as to what the future holds, scarce resources cannot be allocated to best reflect our national priorities. In belt-tightening times like these, the problem grows all the more urgent.
At the same time, however, it’s important to note that No Budget, No Pay isn’t just about dollars and cents. It’s about addressing an overwhelming national sense that political games and partisan jockeying have left our government not just broke, but broken. To pass a budget and earn their paychecks, your elected representatives will have no choice but to reach across the aisle, strive for compromise and consensus and ultimately come together in ways we haven’t for a very long time. In this context, the measure is as much about straightening our national politics as it is about straightening our national pocketbook.
We in the House believe that if our elected leaders can come together on the budget, we can begin tackling the serious issues our nation is facing today. Now, we and thousands of others across the country are asking the Senate to make the same compelling statement about this government’s ability to put the people before politics.
Schrader represents Oregon's 5th Congressional District and Ribble represents Wisconsin's 8th Congressional District. Both are members of the No Labels problem solvers group.