Calling it a debt limit “suspension,” the House voted today to pass the "No Budget, No Pay Act," a measure that will allow the federal government to continue to spend until May 19, at which time it will consider the issue once again. It also takes away any threat of a government shutdown which the GOP initially considered as a way to force the Obama administration to agree to spending cuts. At least for the moment.
The bill just passed today adds additional incentive for the House and Senate to come to terms on fiscal matters, placing the salary checks for each member of Congress in escrow until a budget agreement is reached, or until the end of the 113th Congress, whichever happens first. The bill requires a budget from the House and the Senate by April 15. Passed largely due to House Republican votes, the bill received criticism from some Democrats. As noted by CNN,
Most House Democrats, however, voted against the bill. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called the salary provision a "joke" and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer called the bill a "political gimmick" that perpetuates uncertainty.
But other leading Democrats said they would support the legislation because it takes the immediate threat of default off the table and divorces the debt ceiling from Republican demands for spending cuts.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said the Senate would "seek to pass" the House bill.
President Obama will not oppose the bill if it reaches his desk, even though he would prefer a longer term debt ceiling increase, the White House said Tuesday.
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Photo of Speaker of the House Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) and GOP leadership speaking on budget issues Jan. 23: AP Images