WASHINGTON - A bill forcing the Senate to pass a budget or go without a paycheck was hailed Wednesday by a West Virginia congressman.
The Senate can miss the April 15 deadline and not pass a budget, "but they won't get paid," Rep. David McKinley, R-W.Va., said.
The House of Representatives on Wednesday passed House Resolution 325, dubbed the No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013, 285 to 144, which allows for a three-month extension of the debt limit and requires either chamber to pass a budget by April 15 or their pay checks will be withheld.
McKinley spoke to reporters from the 1st District in a telephone press conference after the vote.
"You can't control your deficits until you have some kind of budget," he said.
Thirty-three Republicans opposed the bill and 86 Democrats voted to approve it, including Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., and Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Ohio, also voted in favor.
Capito and Johnson also blamed the Democratic-controlled Senate.
"No person in America gets paid for not doing their job, and members of Congress shouldn't either," Capito said in a statement. "The American people put their faith in us when they elected each member last November, and it's up to us to hold ourselves accountable to get our country out of this spending-driven debt crisis."
Everyone has to live within a budget, according to Johnson.
"Washington has a spending problem, and the American people face a $16 trillion debt because of it," he said in a statement.
The bill is expected to pass the Senate, according to Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada.
"I'm pleased that Speaker Boehner's House colleagues have decided to change course and pass a bill that defuses yet another fight over the debt ceiling," Reid said at a press conference in Washington, D.C. "In substance, it's a clean debt limit increase."
The bill requires the House and Senate to separately pass a budget resolution for fiscal 2014 by April 15. Miss that and the paychecks will be withheld starting on April 16.
Also, the resolution suspends the debt limit ceiling until May 18, McKinley said.
Importantly, according to McKinley, by requiring the Senate to pass a budget, it will demonstrate where Senators want to spend and where they want to cut.
"Show us where your priorities are," he said.