Looks like Congress protected their own butts on this one. House Republicans have come up with the plan to suspend the pay of congress, if they don’t pass a budget. As part of a proposal to raise the debt limit for three months, the House GOP would suspend pay for members of Congress unless both the House and the Senate pass a budget blueprint for the next fiscal year.
The idea plays to public disaffection with Congress, which has been locked in a bitter spending battle, and appeals to the small-government wing of the Republican Party, which doesn’t like government spending to begin with. It is also a dig at Senate Democrats, who have gone for years without adopting a budget plan.
But there is a problem – withholding pay from lawmakers is against the Constitution. Hmm, it’s okay for Obama to bypass it, but should Republicans try it, it’s against the law. And even though many liberals want to dismatle the Constitution, they fall back on it when their agenda is threatened.
The 27th amendment states no law changing compensation for members of the House or the Senate can take effect until after the next House election. That means a law, even if it were to clear the Democratic-controlled Senate, which is a long shot, could not be used to withhold pay for almost two years.