Class divide in 'no budget, no pay?'

Jan. 25, 2013 at 8:18 AM
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WASHINGTON, Jan. 25 (UPI) -- Some members of the U.S. Senate said the "no budget, no pay" provision in the debt ceiling bill would cause them hardship if they blow the budget deadline.

The bill would withhold Senate salaries until Jan. 3, 2015, when the 113th Congress ends if they don't approve a budget by April 15. The Senate has not passed a budget in three years.

For some senators who are worth millions of dollars, the loss of the $174,000 annual salary would not have much of an impact, The Hill reported.

Others, like Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, who had a minimum net worth of $164,000 in 2011, said the loss of $174,000 makes a big dent.

"As much as I love my job and my constituents, I have bills to pay," she said.

The bill could cause a class divide in the Senate, with less-wealthy lawmakers pressuring their colleagues to bend on issues to pass a budget, The Hill said Friday.

Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., acknowledged a possible class divide when the House bill came to vote this week.

"The last thing we want to do is say to people thinking of running for the Congress, 'If you're not a millionaire, don't run because we can't guarantee you'll be paid your salary," he said in a statement.

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