Pressure by Republicans and the threat of having their pay docked have Senate Democrats talking about passing a budget for the first time in years. Now they have another reason to buckle down and focus on that “most basic responsibility of governing”: the American people are demanding it.
When asked by Harper Polling whether they “support or oppose the [GOP] plan to give Congress and the President three months to pass a meaningful budget or Congress will stop getting paid,” more than 72 percent said they support “no budget, no pay.” Read the full survey here.
The Associated Press summed up “the logic behind ‘no budget, no pay’” like this: since “passing a budget is the core responsibility of Congress … why should lawmakers get paid if they don't do their main job?”
“Congress should do its job,” argues the Seattle Times. “Or be ready to make some personal financial sacrifices.”
But Americans not only expect a budget from lawmakers – they want one that actually addresses our debt. A recent Pew survey found the same number of respondents – 72 percent – say “reducing the budget deficit should be a top priority, up 19 points from four years ago.”
Coincidentally, it was four years ago that Senate Democrats last passed a budget, and in that time our national debt has ballooned to more than $16 trillion. Reducing that debt burden on future generations is one of the keys to promoting long-term economic growth and avoiding another credit downgrade. The only way to do so is to get spending under control – and that starts with passing a budget.