The campaign arm of the House GOP rolled out its first television ad of the 2014 campaign cycle on Monday, blasting a New Hampshire Democrat for opposing a measure that puts the pay of lawmakers on ice until they pass a federal budget — at least through the end of the current session of Congress.
The National Republican Congressional Committee accuses Rep. Carol Shea-Porter in the new 30-second spot of protecting lawmakers who fail to do their most basic job. “Carol-Shea Porter voted to keep it that way,” the narrator says. “That may fly in Washington, but not here in New Hampshire.”
The law — billed as the “No Budget, No Pay Act” — passed the GOP-dominated House on a 285-to-144 vote last month, with 111 Democrats and 33 Republicans voting against it.
The Senate then passed the proposal on a 64-to-34 vote margin, with a single Democrat, West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, and 33 Republicans opposing it.
The bill temporarily waived the nation’s $16.39 trillion debt ceiling through May 18 in exchange for requiring the Democratic-controlled Senate to pass a budget for the first time in four years.
It also requires the House to pass a spending plan.
If either chamber fails, its members’ $174,000 salaries would be held in an escrow account until they write a budget or until the curtain closes on this session of Congress.
The law has raised some legal questions over whether lawmakers are violating the 27th Amendment of the Constitution, which says Congress cannot pass a law “varying” lawmakers’ pay in that same Congress.
Following the vote, Mrs. Shea-Porter, who in the November election reclaimed the seat that Republican Rep. Frank C. Guinta took from her in 2010, released a statement, saying that the “debt ceiling should not be tied to any political issue, no matter how desirable the goal should be.”
“The markets need to believe that Congress understands that the money was spent by the United States, the money is owed by the United States, and the United States will pay its bills and meet its obligations — no strings attached, and no temporary fixes,” she said.
Ian Prior, NRCC spokesman, said in a press release Monday that Mrs. Shea-Porter failed to “vote for a common-sense, bipartisan bill ” and that her decision “speaks volumes of her self-serving priorities in Congress.”
“She would rather stand up for her own interests than those of hard-working Granite State families, and this most recent poll shows that her poor decisions have not gone unnoticed,” Mr. Prior said in the press release.