Washington Examiner: Virginia lawmaker suggests members of Congress don’t get paid until they fix debt ceiling crisis

WASHINGTON EXAMINER, JACK BIRLE

Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-VA) is pushing for an additional incentive for Congress to resolve the fight over the debt ceiling.

Spanberger sent a letter Friday to Chief Administrative Officer Catherine Szpindor requesting that she “withhold U.S. Member of Congress pay until Congress has lifted the debt ceiling.”

“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,” Spanberger wrote in the letter.

The Virginia Democrat discussed the effects the U.S. defaulting on its debt obligations would have if the debt ceiling is not raised, arguing that members of Congress should not get paid if they “don’t do” their job. She also acknowledged that Szpindor is restrained by laws regarding paying members but that the request still stands.

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

“While I recognize you are constrained by congressional rules, the 27th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and other applicable laws and rules, I request that you 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,” she continued.

House Republicans passed a bill to raise the debt ceiling last week, but Democratic leadership in the Senate and President Joe Biden are not supportive of the bill, which limits spending to 2022 levels. Biden and Democrats have been pushing for no negotiations and to pass a debt ceiling raise without any spending cuts.

Biden and congressional leaders from both parties met at the White House earlier this week, but the president does not appear to be backing down from his calls for no negotiation regarding the debt ceiling. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said he expects another meeting between congressional leaders and Biden at the White House next week after a planned Friday meeting was postponed.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen says the U.S. will likely default on its debts by June 1 if the debt ceiling is not raised, making for a quick deadline for Congress and the White House to work with.

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