WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congress hasn't passed a federal budget in nearly four years, but Wednesday's approval of the "No Budget No Pay Act" in the House forces the Senate to "set its priorities" and find ways to cut spending, Rep. David B. McKinley said.
Representatives passed the bill in a 285-144 vote Wednesday, with McKinley, R-Wheeling, Shelley Moore Capito, R-Charleston, Bill Johnson, R-Marietta, Ohio, and Nick Rahall, D-Beckley, all voting in favor.
"It draws attention by the American public to the fact we got ourselves in this dilemma because we didn't have a budget - we didn't have discipline," McKinley said.
He believes lack of a federal budget leads to more spending by government agencies and has caused the federal debt to increase.
McKinley said the Senate could ignore the bill; it could amend the bill and return it to the House; or it could approve the bill and craft a budget.
Johnson said the legislation is similar to a bill he introduced last year called the "Pass a Budget Now Act."
"There is no reason why the federal government shouldn't be held to the same common sense standards as hardworking Ohio families who are struggling to make ends meet in an economy that has experienced little to no growth over the last four years," Johnson said.
Capito agreed federal spending must be curtailed.
"Washington's 'let's just go with the flow' kind of attitude when it comes to budgeting is irresponsible and unsustainable ... ," she said. "No person in America gets paid for not doing their job, and members of Congress shouldn't either."