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house Bill H.R. 325

Should Congressional Paychecks Get Cut When Both Chambers Can't Agree On A Federal Budget?

Argument in favor

If Congress can’t come to an agreement on one of their most essential responsibilities — funding the government — they don’t deserve to be paid on time.

ryan's Opinion
If they can't do their job and pass a budget, why should they get paid for arguing with each other?
Like (3)
Dean's Opinion
If you're not doing your job or not working you don't get paid. Seems simple.
Like (2)
Eric's Opinion
Passing a budget is part of the job description. If they can't perform their job, there should be repercussions.
Like (2)

Argument opposed

This bill is coercive and could force Congressional members to vote for legislation they don't fully agree with. Not every member in Congress is a millionaire.

Jarrod's Opinion
If you don't like what your congressman is doing, then you need to vote them out of office.
Like (1)
ConservativeM's Opinion
Why pay our officials with taxpayers money when they cant get a budget set? If i didnt do my job id get fired and so should they!
MichaelJonesAU's Opinion
No, these things take time, wouldn't want to pressure them into making worse decisions than they already do.

What is House Bill H.R. 325?

As the Act's name suggests — No Budget, No Pay Act — this bill withholds Congressional paychecks until both chambers can agree on a federal budget. Passed in February 2013, this bill also suspended the public debt limit through May 18, 2013 at a little over $16 trillion.

When a budget agreement  for the 2014 fiscal year wasn't reached by April 15, the payroll administrator for each chamber was required to put your Senator and House Representative's checks into an escrow account. After this deadline, the money wouldn't be released until a member’s chamber agreed to a budget or the last day of the 113th Congress.

H.R. 325 also gave the Secretary of the Treasury the authority to increase the public debt limit given that the additional increase was within $100 billion of the existing limit. If the Secretary decided not to increase the budget, it would happen automatically on May 19, 2013 — limited to:

  • The face value of obligations issued, and the face value of obligations whose principal and interest are guaranteed by the federal government. This excludes guaranteed obligations held by the Treasury.

  • The face value of obligations that are outstanding on the date that this bill is enacted.


Members of Congress, payroll administrators for Congress, the Secretary of State, the President.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 325

The CBO estimates that implementing this bill would not have a significant impact on the federal budget.

More Information


Congress’ inability to come to an agreement on a budget has highlighted the disconnect between those in Washington D.C. and those outside the Beltway. For families and business owners, establishing a budget is a routine procedure, yet between April 29, 2009 and March 24, 2013 the Senate did not pass a budget.

The willingness of members of Congress to delay their own paychecks has also emphasized the divide. For a member of Congress the minimum salary is currently $174,000, and the median income for Americans is just over $43,000. In 2011, the median net worth for a member of Congress was $966,000, while the typical household net worth for Americans as a whole is under $67,000.

This is all to say that when you're making over $170,000 a year, missing a few paychecks probably won't be the end of the world for you. 


No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013

Official Title

To ensure the complete and timely payment of the obligations of the United States Government until May 19, 2013, and for other purposes.

bill Progress

  • EnactedFebruary 4th, 2013
    The President signed this bill into law
  • The senate Passed January 31st, 2013
    Roll Call Vote 64 Yea / 34 Nay
  • The house Passed January 23rd, 2013
    Roll Call Vote 285 Yea / 144 Nay
      house Committees
      Committee on Administration
      Committee on Ways and Means
    IntroducedJanuary 21st, 2013

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