WPLN: Cooper Touts "No Budget, No Pay" Proposal To Senate Panel

Mar 19, 2012
Press Release

Cooper Touts “No Budget, No Pay” Proposal To Senate Panel
March 15, 2012
By Matt Laslo

A surprised Jim Cooper was met by cheering activists Wednesday before he testified about reforming the congressional budget process. The Nashville Democrat was invited to a Senate committee to speak about his “No Budget, No Pay” bill.

A crowd of government reform activists welcomed Congressman Cooper with rally-like applause. He, in turn, was startled by a request to address the group minutes before the hearing began. Cooper obliged, but then sat down before senators to deliver a serious message about tackling the national debt.

Congress hasn’t passed a budget in more than one thousand days. And Cooper wants his lawmakers to forego their pay until they carry through with that constitutional responsibility.

“I’m afraid that our start-stop government is giving everybody whiplash. America is the victim, and Congress is simply not able to get away with this reckless driving anymore.”

But Cooper’s proposal did receive some push-back from one congressional scholar. Donald Wolfensberger of the Wilson Center says the bill is unrealistic – both politically and practically. He says it would only continue to paint a picture of Congress as being completely gridlocked, when serious, and often appropriate, disagreements occur over the budget.

Cooper’s “No Budget, No Pay” legislation is supported by six Senators and 34 House members, including Tennessee Republicans Diane Black and Scott DesJarlais.

Cooper made his appearance at the request of Senators Joseph Leiberman and Susan Collins.