A Victory for Reform: Senate Finally Passes Budget (Mar. 28, 2013)

I’d like to draw your attention to a real victory for reform that occurred this past weekend. The United States Senate finally passed a federal budget after four years of failing to do so. This budget was passed through the Senate after many delays and by only one vote – 50 to 49. Yet, this is a positive step in our goal to end the dysfunction in Congress.

It is also an important step as Congress is finally beginning to address our dangerous federal budget deficit and put our nation’s fiscal house in order. The Senate’s budget would reduce the deficit by 1.85 trillion dollars. There are many provisions I don’t support in either the Senate budget plan or the separate budget plan passed by the House of Representatives. For starters, the House budget would have benefitted from closing some questionable tax loopholes to bring in more revenue, while the Senate plan should have made more of an effort to reform entitlements. At least there is finally some movement on the need to reduce the deficit.

The U.S. Senate’s passage of a budget would not have been possible without the momentum of “No Labels,” the national organization dedicated to reducing excessive partisanship and ending dysfunction in Congress. “No Labels” successfully pushed “No Budget, No Pay,” which requires that Members of Congress do not get paid if their Chamber of Congress fails to perform its most basic function – approve a budget. It’s no coincidence that in a relatively short period of time after Congress passed and the President signed “No Budget, No Pay” that the Senate finally relented after four long years and did its duty.

I’m gratified to be one of several co-founders of “No Labels,” and I’m grateful for our organization’s leadership in continuing to push a bold plan to reform Congress. I’m also grateful that many of the citizens of our area responded to my request and called their congressional representative to urge a vote for passage of “No Budget, No Pay.”

This is an important example of how we can make a difference when we unite together as Americans and not as Democrats, Republicans or Independents and hold the politicians accountable. Thank you for your support.