Congressman Jim Cooper

Representing the 5th District of Tennessee

Cooper Reintroduces No Budget, No Pay Act

Jan 4, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05) reintroduced bipartisan legislation that would stop congressional pay if Congress fails to pass its spending bills on time.

The No Budget, No Pay Act, introduced with Reps. Stephanie Murphy (D-FL) and Vern Buchanan (R-FL), would prevent House and Senate members from receiving their salary if they miss annual deadlines for budget and appropriations bills, and would not be paid retroactively.

The bill would force members to work together to pass bipartisan legislation and prevent damaging government shutdowns that hurt families and embarrass America. Government should never shut down because Congress refuses to do its job, and the pay incentive has been proven to work.

Congress overwhelmingly passed a version of Rep. Cooper’s No Budget, No Pay Act in 2013. That year, the House and Senate passed individual budgets for the first time in four years. However, the bill was temporary, and has since expired.

“Congress is the only place in America where you get paid for showing up but not doing your work,” Rep. Cooper said. “I would rather reward members for good behavior. But the reality is when you threaten members of Congress, Congress finds a way to do its job.”

Cooper is also a longtime cosponsor of the Hold Congress Accountable Act, which would prevent members of Congress from being paid in the event of a government shutdown for as long as the shutdown continues.