A Cure for Washington's Dysfunction? No Budget, No Pay!

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WASHINGTON - Today if you look up the word "dysfunctional," you just might find a picture of Congress, according to some of the institution's biggest critics who say it's time for a major overhaul.

One of the changes gaining traction could hit lawmakers where it hurts them most: their wallets!

It's hard to imagine Congress's approval rating falling any lower, not when it's only 9 percent. According to a recent survey, most people like cockroaches or root canals more than lawmakers.

But there's one idea concerning Congress the public overwhelmingly supports: no budget, no pay. It requires both chambers to pass a budget by April 15. If they don't, members don't get paid until a budget is passed.

The bipartisan concept, supported by 88 percent of Americans, became reality when the Republican-controlled House made "no budget, no pay" a pre-condition to temporarily delay the latest round of budget talks, including the debate over raising the debt ceiling so Washington can borrow more money to keep operating.

The "no budget, no pay" bill passed both the House and Senate and President Obama signed it into law.

Supporters believe making politics more personally accountable might cure Washington's dysfunction and maybe even make government work somewhat efficiently.

Before the "no budget, no pay" bill passed, the Senate hadn't put together a budget in four years. It's also been 15 years since Congress passed a budget on time.

Can the U.S. pull back from the brink of financial disaster? David Walker, co-founder of the group No Labels, which succeeded in getting "no budget, no pay" made into law, talked about how Congress and the president must work together to help solve some of the nation's most pressing problems. Click play to see his comments.

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CBN News
John Jessup

John Jessup

CBN News Anchor

John Jessup serves as the main news anchor for CBN, a position he assumed after 10 years reporting for the network in Washington, D.C. His work in broadcast news has earned him several awards in reporting, producing, and coordinating elections coverage. Follow John on Twitter @JohnCBNNews and "like" him at Facebook.com/John.V.Jessup.