The idea of docking pay for lawmakers if they fail to produce a budget has been thrown around before. Never before, however, has such an idea been so promoted and meticulously researched than by a freshman senator from Georgia - David Perdue.
Perdue’s staff released an initial proposal on Thursday detailing what he hopes will make for a better budgeting process in Congress. The release could not have come at a more relevant time – leaders in the House and Senate reached a budget agreement literally hours before an impending government shutdown.
Senator Perdue explains that not only will the threat of docking lawmakers’ and staffers’ pay be a beneficial incentive to avoid Capitol Hill’s eleventh hour budget deals, but it will also be essential in tackling America’s debt crises. Producing last minute budgets add to the debt and streamlining the process will be cost-saving for the country.
The legislative proposal is no surprise. Senator Perdue has made a career of balancing budgets. He was a former Fortune 500 CEO (his net-worth is in the billions) before winning a seat in the Senate chamber in 2014 on a budget hawk platform. He promised voters in the Peach State he would change how money is spent in Congress and he seems to be delivering.
On top of creating a no-pay incentive, the amendments suggested also call for a special committee to be created as a means for negotiations. Medicare, Social Security, and other entitlement programs would be forced to undergo more financial evaluations.
Perdue has supporters in the lower house working on similar legislation. Fellow Georgian Rep. Tom Price (R) is also working on a no-budget, no-pay rule.
The proposition does not come without its critics, however. Staffers from both the right and the left have come out against the measure - saying any threat to remove staffers’ pay would simply result in an exodus of talent.