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One way to force compromise in Congress: No budget, no pay

The Fix Congress Now Caucus is a bipartisan task force of representatives committed to fixing Congress through meaningful reforms. Our first goal: Pass the No Budget, No Pay Act, which would require Congress to pass a budget on time or have members' salaries withheld until it does.

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The No Budget, No Pay Act will hopefully make “continuing resolutions” and government shutdowns a thing of the past. There is already broad bipartisan support for the bill: 22 Democrats and 33 Republicans have signed on to the House version. We are calling on House leadership to hold a hearing on this bill and get it to the House floor for a vote. Sen. Dean Heller (R) of Nevada introduced this same bill in the Senate, and the bill has already collected bipartisan support there.

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In the coming weeks and months, we will draw attention to similar-minded reforms that will improve the way Washington functions, including addressing the budget process, committee structure, and generally elevating the tone of our debate here in Washington.

We fully acknowledge that much work and opposition stand before the Fix Congress Now Caucus since many of these ideas run counter to the interests of many individuals and the way Washington politics works. But we are confident this effort will not be in vain. Congress is less popular than it’s ever been. America has already had its credit rating downgraded once, thanks in part to congressional gridlock and dysfunction.

However, when we are successful, partisan games will take a backseat to genuine progress. It is time to fix Congress, and we hope our colleagues on both sides of the aisle will join us in advancing policies that reflect the common ground that binds us together.

Representatives Scott Rigell (R) of Virginia, Jim Cooper (D) of Tennessee, Reid Ribble (R) of Wisconsin, and Kurt Schrader (D) of Oregon are the founders of the Fix Congress Now Caucus.

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