This week, Congressman Kurt Schrader re-introduced his Hold Congress Accountable Act (H.R.1794), which would reduce the salary of Members of Congress in the event of a government shutdown for as long as the shutdown continues. He first introduced a version of this bill in 2013 immediately following the start of the government shutdown in October of that year.
Rep. Schrader also joined 18 of his Democratic and Republican colleagues to cosponsor H.R.1779, the No Budget, No Pay Act, which would suspend the salary of Members of Congress if they do not pass a budget on time. This is the third consecutive Congress that the bill has been introduced, and Rep. Schrader has been an original cosponsor of the bill every time.
“Our number one job in Congress is to pass a budget,” said Rep. Schrader. “There is no partisan issue that takes priority over our constituents, and shutting down the government shouldn’t be a last resort: it should never even be an option. If we’ve learned anything at all in Congress these last few weeks, it’s that strawman legislation goes nowhere and is good for no one. And we are never going to progress on anything if we continue to refuse to put our trivial differences aside and work together for the good of our districts and our country.
“I have always been willing to work across the aisle to find middle ground, and I’ll continue to do so because that’s what my constituents expect from me; that’s what I expect from all of us. In every other profession, if you don’t do your job, you don’t get paid. Why on earth should we be any different? If we can't complete the single most important responsibility we have – passing a budget on time – none of us deserve a pay check from the very people who sent us here to complete that task.”
During the 2013 government shutdown, Rep. Schrader donated his own pay to the Oregon Food Bank. If the government shuts down again, the Congressman will similarly donate his pay to a charitable organization.