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Bridget Johnson

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January 18, 2013 - 11:49 am

Conservative leaders in the Republican caucus said today they support a House effort next week that ties a “no budget, no pay” requirement to the Senate while extending the debt limit three months to allow for the upper chamber to pass a spending plan.

“The first step to halting Washington’s spending addiction is passing a budget that cuts spending. The House has passed such a budget, and will again. For the past four years, the United States Senate has refused to pass a budget at all, failing the American people in the process. That practice has to end this year,” the current chairman of the Republican Study Committee, Steve Scalise (R-La.), and past chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), Tom Price (R-Ga.), and Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) said in a joint statement.

“Next week, we will vote for a bill requiring that the Senate pass a budget, or the Senators’ own salary will be withheld.  It’s simple: The American people expect Washington to pass a budget and live by it.  No budget, no pay. That will represent the first step to put us on a path to a balanced federal budget in the next 10 years,” they continued.

“Unless we quickly address the skyrocketing national debt, America will continue to follow Greece down the path towards insolvency.  In order to allow time for the Senate to act, next week’s bill will extend the debt limit for three months. This is a necessary first step as we work to halt the decline of America and puts the focus where it belongs: on the Senate who has failed to do their jobs to pass a budget for more than three years.”

As part of the agreement, the House will work toward a balanced budget in 10 years.  House leadership also agreed to stand by the $974 billion discretionary number that is part of the sequestration process.

“A long-term increase in the debt limit that is not preceded by meaningful and responsible reductions in government spending might avert a default, but it would also invite a downgrade of our nation’s credit that damages our economy, hurts families and small businesses, and destroys jobs,” House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said.

House Republicans were on their retreat today in Williamsburg, Va.

The White House swiftly sounded its familiar refrain that President Obama will not negotiate on the debt ceiling.

“The President has made clear that Congress has only two options: pay the bills they have racked up, or fail to do so and put our nation into default,” press secretary Jay Carney said in a statement. “We are encouraged that there are signs that Congressional Republicans may back off their insistence on holding our economy hostage to extract drastic cuts in Medicare, education and programs middle class families depend on. Congress must pay its bills and pass a clean debt limit increase without further delay. And as he has said, the President remains committed to further reducing the deficit in a balanced way.”

MORE FROM PJ WASHINGTON: 4 Ways the Debt Ceiling Debacle Could Play Out

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.
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