TN leaders support 'no work, no pay' for Congress - WSMV Channel 4

TN leaders support 'no work, no pay' for Congress

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Several members of Tennessee's Congressional delegation are willingly putting their paychecks on the line.

The move is tied to a bill that tells Congress if they don't pass a budget, they won't get their paycheck on time.

The measure passed the House on Wednesday, and members from both parties are on board with the idea.

Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander said when he was flying out of Nashville International Airport last Sunday, a woman who sold him a newspaper had something to say.

"'Why don't you get them to do something right up there in Washington for a change?'" Alexander quoted the woman as saying. "And I said, 'like what?' And she said, 'no work, no pay.'"

Alexander used that conversation in a press conference to support the bill entitled, "No budget, no pay," directing the Senate to pass a budget by April 15 or risk delaying members' paychecks.

The U.S. Senate hasn't passed a budget in nearly four years.

"In Tennessee, people know if you joined the Grand Ole Opry, and you refused to sing, you don't get paid. So they think, well, 'if you join the Senate, and you refuse to pass a budget, which is required by law, you shouldn't get paid,'" Alexander said.

Republican Congresswoman Diane Black stood next to a sign with the same message on the House floor.

"Fiscal responsibility in the halls of Congress cannot wait," she said.

Democratic Congressman Jim Cooper is also on board with the measure, which, if it passes, would withhold the lawmakers' paychecks until a budget is approved.

But, as always, you have to read the fine print, too.

If they don't pass a budget, they still get their withheld money. It would just come at the end of the current congressional session.

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