The situation was reversed in the Senate, where all but one Democrat voted for the debt increase. Most Republicans, including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, opposed it.
A spokesman for Mr. McConnell said Senate Republicans tried to add spending cuts to the bill but were defeated by Democrats, which made the bill unacceptable.
House Republicans, stung by the 2011 debt fight, argue that they have won a bigger victory this time by tying lawmakers’ pay to their ability to pass budgets.
The idea has gained popularity in recent years and has become known as “no budget, no pay.”
Under the bill, House and Senate lawmakers would stop getting paid if they haven’t passed a bill through their own chambers by April 15. All of the money would be paid at the end of the congressional session — a way of trying to adhere to the 27th Amendment, which forbids Congress from “varying” its compensation within a session.
Sen. Joe Manchin III of West Virginia, the lone Democrat to vote against the bill, was one of the chief sponsors of “no budget, no pay” — but he said he couldn’t stomach the way this bill was written.
“If we are unable or unwilling to work in a bipartisan manner to pass a budget, we should not get paid. It’s as simple as that,” he said. “Unfortunately, the House bill combines ‘no budget, no pay,’ with an irresponsible provision that would allow us to continue spending recklessly for the next three months and still pay us at the end of the 113th Congress.”
But his co-sponsor on “no budget, no pay,” Republican Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada, voted for the bill and said he hopes it becomes a permanent requirement.
“While I was disappointed the Senate did not pass certain amendments that would have immediately reduced spending, ‘no budget, no pay’ is an important step forward toward transforming the budgeting process,” he said.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
Stephen Dinan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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