From his Facebook:
"I was sent to Washington to do everything possible to rein in spending, balance the budget, and lower the debt. The “No Budget, No Pay” Act temporarily suspends the debt ceiling on non-discretionary spending for four months, but not discretionary spending. It might seem to allow “business as usual” to continue. On the contrary, I supported this bill because it does precisely the opposite: it forces “business as usual” to stop.
Before 2009 the country very rarely experienced a crisis over raising the debt ceiling. That’s because before President Obama took office, Congress appropriated funds by passing budgets. Unbalanced as they were, the budgets included a component to raise the debt ceiling in order to fit the budget. The country knew where its money was being spent.
Over the past three years, however, Congress has been appropriating funds for government through an ongoing series of continuing resolutions that continued the budget originally passed by Nancy Pelosi. This was all done by cynical design in the Senate. These resolutions, however, did not include an increase in the debt ceiling, thus purposely causing a crisis every few month. So far, two things have happened every time we have tried to negotiate spending cuts—the debt ceiling gets raised under threat of default and the Republicans are blamed for threatening to disrupt the world financial system and hurt the economy.
According to the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974, each chamber of Congress must pass a budget resolution. Once both houses pass the resolution, selected representatives and Senators negotiate a conference report to reconcile differences between the House and the Senate versions. The conference report, in order to become binding, must be approved by both the House and Senate. Therefore, the public may hold their members accountable for their vote on the budget.
In 2009, the Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid realized that the 1974 law had no mechanism to force the Senate to pass a budget. Not passing a budget became politically convenient for the leaders in the Senate because it allowed them to hide from ordinary citizens the extraordinary amount of taxpayer money the federal government was spending. The House has dutifully passed budgets each year, but the Senate has flat-out refused to negotiate with conservatives that were sent to Washington to fix problems.
The Senate Majority Leader did this in order to shift the conversation away from the budget and the Senate’s irresponsibility, and place the focus onto the debt ceiling, blaming the conservatives for resisting “critical” ceiling hikes. The result has been to hide the fiscal insanity of the Senate leadership.
I voted 'yes' on the “No Budget, No Pay” Act because it forces the Senate to lead and follow their constitutional duty. It says that the Senate will not receive their salary if they continue to refuse to not produce a budget. Without a budget it is impossible to know where we can make dramatic cuts that are needed. Americans deserve to know where their money is going. The debt ceiling increase cannot be signed into law unless they accept the terms of the budget requirement. No Budget No Pay returns the conversation from the debt ceiling to the budget, where it belongs."
- Paul R. Dillinger