Capitol Monitor - Making Congress Personally Accountable for Passing a Budget

Congressman Randy Forbes
2013-01-24 17:00:11
Capitol Monitor by Congressman J. Randy Forbes Send me an email | Forward to a Friend | Share on: January 24, 2013 Making Congress Personally Accountable for Passing a Budget One of a Congress’ most basic responsibilities is to pass a budget. Families and businesses all across America regularly make budgets, yet the U.S. Senate has failed to legislate one in over three and a half years. In fact, as many have pointed out, the last time the U.S. Senate passed a budget, we had never even heard of the iPad. General Motors had never declared bankruptcy. No one had heard of Swine Flu. And the national debt was $4 trillion smaller than it is today. Today, our national debt stands at over $16 trillion and we have racked up over a trillion dollars in deficits in each of the last four years. We can no longer continue on this path. As public servants, we have a lot of work to do to bring down our national debt and rein in deficit spending. It will not be easy. It will take hard work. It will not happen overnight. In the meantime, however, Congress can make some important fiscal steps to show that we are committed to returning America to a firm fiscal footing. Just like families and businesses across America, Members of Congress need to be held responsible for their fiscal decisions. To add personal accountability into the process, I introduced the Congressional Accountability Pay (CAP) Act, H.R. 284, to break Congress’ addiction to spending by tying members’ salaries directly to spending. The premise of the bill is simple – the more Members of Congress spend, the less they make in salary. So, if Congress increases spending by 7%, their salaries would be cut by 7%. This week, the House passed the No Budget, No Pay Act, H.R. 325, requiring Members of the House and Senate to pass a budget, or have their pay withheld. I was pleased that this bill incorporates personal accountability of Members of Congress, in a similar fashion as the CAP Act. I am optimistic that this is a first step toward getting spending under control. In January of 1995, a constitutional amendment that mandated a balanced budget passed the U.S House of Representatives. Two months later, the balanced budget amendment was brought to the floor of the U.S. Senate where it failed by one vote. Since then, federal debt has more than tripled in size from $5.1 trillion to $16.4 trillion today. I continue to support a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, but in the meantime, we must fix our broken budget process and prioritize spending. Passing a budget, as called for under the No Budget, No Pay Act, is only the first step toward putting our nation back on a path of fiscal prosperity, but it would go a long way in holding Members of Congress personally accountable for spending decisions in Washington. The status quo is no longer acceptable – Members of Congress cannot remain immune from the economic challenges facing our nation. Share this on: Forbes Discusses CAP Act with Martha MacCallum on Fox News Click to watch the video. Flu Season is Here - Take Action Now and visit Flu.gov Forty-Seven states, including Virginia, are reporting widespread geographic influenza activity. The United States is having an early flu season with most of the country now experiencing high levels of influenza-like-illness (ILI). Click Here to Read more. New Rule Aims to Reduce Risky Lending Called for under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, and in response to the recent housing crisis, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued a new rule implementing a requirement that creditors make a good faith effort to determine whether a consumer has the ability to repay before issuing a loan. Click the link to read more. FTC Warns Small Businesses: Don't Open Email Falsely Claiming to be From FTC The Federal Trade Commission is warning small businesses that an email with a subject line, “NOTIFICATION OF CONSUMER COMPLAINT” is not from the FTC. The email falsely states that a complaint has been filed with the agency against their company. The FTC advises recipients not to click on any of the links or attachments with the email. Clicking on the links may install a virus or other spyware on the computer. Click the link to learn more. Other News Jan 7, 2013 Forbes Announces Spring Congressional Internship Program in Chesterfield and Chesapeake Jan 16, 2013 Thank You for Your Service - Suffolk News Herald Jan 24, 2013 Forbes Announces Subcommittee Assignments ON THE HILL PHOTO GALLERY Washington Update Current Floor Proceedings Bills Coming Up This Week Monthly Whip Calendar Beautiful music and powerful prayer at this morning's Commonwealth Prayer Breakfast in Richmond. My daughter Jordan joined me today as I was sworn in as a member of the 113th Congress. The bible pictured was given to me years ago when I came to Congress and I hope to one day pass it down to my children. It is a privilege to serve Virginia's 4th district. Home | Contact | Forward to a Friend | Unsubscribe | Subscribe | Privacy | Office Locations Please do not reply to this message. This email address does not accept incoming messages. To send an email, click here. Unsubscribe: forbes.house.gov/Forms/EmailSignup/
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Making Congress Personally Accountable for Passing a Budget 

One of a Congress’ most basic responsibilities is to pass a budget.  Families and businesses all across America regularly make budgets, yet the U.S. Senate has failed to legislate one in over three and a half years.  In fact, as many have pointed out, the last time the U.S. Senate passed a budget, we had never even heard of the iPad. General Motors had never declared bankruptcy. No one had heard of Swine Flu. And the national debt was $4 trillion smaller than it is today.

Today, our national debt stands at over $16 trillion and we have racked up over a trillion dollars in deficits in each of the last four years. We can no longer continue on this path.  As public servants, we have a lot of work to do to bring down our national debt and rein in deficit spending.  It will not be easy. It will take hard work. It will not happen overnight. In the meantime, however, Congress can make some important fiscal steps to show that we are committed to returning America to a firm fiscal footing.

Just like families and businesses across America, Members of Congress need to be held responsible for their fiscal decisions.  To add personal accountability into the process, I , to break Congress’ addiction to spending by tying members’ salaries directly to spending.  The premise of the bill is simple – the more Members of Congress spend, the less they make in salary. So, if Congress increases spending by 7%, their salaries would be cut by 7%. 

This week, the House passed the No Budget, No Pay Act, , requiring Members of the House and Senate to pass a budget, or have their pay withheld.  I was pleased that this bill incorporates personal accountability of Members of Congress, in a similar fashion as the CAP Act.  I am optimistic that this is a first step toward getting spending under control.  

In January of 1995, a constitutional amendment that mandated a balanced budget passed the U.S House of Representatives.  Two months later, the balanced budget amendment was brought to the floor of the U.S. Senate where it failed by one vote. Since then, federal debt has more than tripled in size from $5.1 trillion to $16.4 trillion today.  I continue to support a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, but in the meantime, we must fix our broken budget process and prioritize spending.

Passing a budget, as called for under the No Budget, No Pay Act, is only the first step toward putting our nation back on a path of fiscal prosperity, but it would go a long way in holding Members of Congress personally accountable for spending decisions in Washington. The status quo is no longer acceptable – Members of Congress cannot remain immune from the economic challenges facing our nation. 


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Forbes Discusses CAP Act with Martha MacCallum on Fox News
Click to watch the

Flu Season is Here - Take Action Now and visit Flu.gov

Forty-Seven states, including Virginia, are reporting widespread geographic influenza activity. The United States is having an early flu season with most of the country now experiencing high levels of influenza-like-illness (ILI).

New Rule Aims to Reduce Risky Lending

Called for under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, and in response to the recent housing crisis, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued a new rule implementing a requirement that creditors make a good faith effort to determine whether a consumer has the ability to repay before issuing a loan.

FTC Warns Small Businesses: Don't Open Email Falsely Claiming to be From FTC

The Federal Trade Commission is warning small businesses that an email with a subject line, “NOTIFICATION OF CONSUMER COMPLAINT” is not from the FTC.  The email falsely states that a complaint has been filed with the agency against their company.  The FTC advises recipients not to click on any of the links or attachments with the email.  Clicking on the links may install a virus or other spyware on the computer.

Other News
Jan 7, 2013 
Jan 16, 2013
Jan 24, 2013
ON THE HILL PHOTO GALLERY

Beautiful music and powerful prayer at this morning's Commonwealth Prayer Breakfast in Richmond.

My daughter Jordan joined me today as I was sworn in as a member of the 113th Congress. The bible pictured was given to me years ago when I came to Congress and I hope to one day pass it down to my children. It is a privilege to serve Virginia's 4th district.
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