U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer voted to support a temporary increase of the nation's debt ceiling Wednesday, but said he hoped the “No Budget No Pay Act” was the first step in a long-term fiscal fix.
“I believe America should pay its bills even if they were racked up before I came to [Washington] D.C.," Kilmer said.
"This plan prevents the immediate threat of default that could cause harm to our nation’s economy. Hopefully, this is the first step toward a real bipartisan effort to forge a balanced solution to our long-term fiscal challenges," he said.
The “No Budget No Pay Act” was approved by a 285-144 vote. The three-month extension will suspend the country's debt limit until May 19 and will withhold congressional pay until a comprehensive budget is passed by Congress.
"This plan also forces Congress to live by the same principle that all folks in our region live by: If you don’t do your job, you shouldn’t be paid," said Kilmer, a 6th District Democrat. "I’m supporting this bill today because I’ve always said I’ll do what’s right for the families and employers of our region, regardless of whether it’s a Democratic or Republican idea.”
It's doubtful that members of Congress will go without pay in the coming months.
U.S. Senator Patty Murray, the incoming Senate Budget Committee chairwoman, has vowed to move a budget resolution through her committee and onto the Senate floor.