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Rob Wittman: August recess? Congress must stay until the work is done
Washington, July 23, 2023
Tags: Fiscal Responsibility
Since the beginning of the 118th Congress, House Republicans have made great strides in reducing government spending, addressing the crisis at the southern border, rolling back burdensome regulations, and supporting domestic energy production. Although we have made significant progress in addressing these critical issues, there is still much work to be done.
With only a few legislative days remaining until the six-week August recess, the House has yet to pass any one of the 12 annual appropriation bills, which fund our government. Many of my colleagues would rather leave for summer vacation, but I believe we should cancel August recess and keep members in Washington until these spending measures are addressed and the people's work is completed.
Throughout my tenure in Congress, I have been a steadfast advocate for holding the legislative branch accountable and restoring transparency to the budget and appropriations process. We must work toward a permanent solution that provides fiscal certainty for our federal agencies. By holding members of Congress accountable, we can ensure that our government functions in the best interest of our constituents.
To restore order and accountability to the budgeting process, I have consistently introduced the following bills:
The Stay on Schedule (S.O.S) Resolution would ensure that Congress remains in session until all 12 appropriations bills are passed. This means potentially forgoing the August recess, as fulfilling our budgetary duties takes priority over vacations. By keeping Congress in session until our work is done, we can avoid the last-minute chaos that often plagues the appropriations process.
The No Budget, No Pay Act would serve as an enforcement measure to hold members of Congress accountable. It is our legal obligation to pass a budget, and it is only fair that our pay is withheld until we fulfill this duty. By linking our salaries to the timely passage of a budget bill, my effort will incentivize lawmakers to prioritize responsible budgeting and ensures that we are held accountable to the American people.
Lastly, the Inaction Has Consequences Act would hold members' salaries until we pass the 12 regular appropriation bills on time, proving that inaction has real consequences while encouraging lawmakers to fulfill their obligations.
The American people deserve a Congress that consistently fulfills its commitments and responsibilities, and a government that operates with timeliness and efficiency. By canceling the August recess, we send a powerful message that we prioritize the needs of the people over our personal time off.
Our current budget process is flawed and demands transparency and accountability to rein in wasteful and irresponsible spending. The solution is clear: Congress must complete its work or face the consequences if it fails to do so. I stand ready to roll up my sleeves and remain in Washington until the job is done. The American people deserve nothing less.Read more here.