The Hill: Spanberger doesn’t want Congress to get paid until it solves debt crisis

THE HILL, ARIS FOLLEY

Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.) is calling for members of Congress to go without pay until they resolve the debt limit crisis as uneasiness rises across Washington around the threat of a federal default.

“If the American people and the American economy are suffering as a result of congressional inaction, then Members of Congress should not be rewarded with their pay,” she wrote in a letter Friday to the House chief administrative officer, Catherine Szpindor.

Spanberger acknowledged in the letter that Szpindor is “constrained by” the rules of Congress, the Constitution and “other applicable laws and rules,” but she requested that the official “prepare to withhold Members of Congress’ pay until Congress passes, and the President signs, legislation to raise the debt ceiling and pay our country’s bills.”

The Hill reached out to Szpindor’s office for comment.

“America’s working families understand the basic principles of fairness — if you don’t do your job, you don’t get paid,” Spanberger said in the letter.

Last week, the Treasury Department warned Congress could have until as soon as June 1 to raise the debt ceiling or risk the nation defaulting on its debt, which experts say could be devastating for the economy.

President Biden, Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and other congressional leaders met earlier this week to discuss a path forward on the debt limit in an attempt to break a months-long, high-stakes stalemate.

Leaders signaled no major movement had been made between both sides after the meeting but said discussions will continue between staff. A White House official also said Thursday that “staff will continue working and all the principals agreed to meet early next week.”

In her letter Friday, Spanberger said “hyper-partisanship in Congress is jeopardizing the economic strength and security of our country, the stability of global markets, and the world’s faith in the credit of the United States of America.”

“And rather than fulfill our most basic obligations, U.S. House Republican leadership has instead championed a bad-faith proposal that has no chance of moving forward in the U.S. Senate,” she wrote. “Market volatility has already impacted Americans’ retirement accounts — and this institution must not wait until the last possible moment to deliver on one of its most fundamental responsibilities.”

The letter adds the mounting frustration seen across Capitol Hill in recent weeks as both sides struggle to come to an agreement.

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