Democrat co-opts Republican opponent’s proposal

Heller and Rosen (R-J pix)

That was quick. The ink hasn’t dried on the morning newspaper report that Democrat Rep. Jacky Rosen will face Republican Dean Heller in November for this Senate seat, but she is already embracing a Heller proposal to get Congress off the dime on passing a federal budget.

Rosen today sent out a press release touting her proposals to reform Congress. Why she hasn’t done this during her past year and a half in office was not explained. The second item on her list is: No budget, no pay. Specifically: “This measure would tie Members’ pay with whether or not Congress fulfills its constitutional responsibility of passing a budget and funding the federal government.”

Heller has been pushing for this since last least 2011, when he put out a press release saying,

“It has been more than 800 days since the Senate passed a budget, ignoring one of the most fundamental responsibilities of governing. Avoiding budget votes for political reasons is not what people want to see from their public officials. If Congress doesn’t do its job, its Members shouldn’t get paid. My amendment is a straight forward measure, and should be brought to the floor for an up or down vote.”

The amendment would prevent members of Congress from being paid their salaries if they fail to pass a budget by the beginning of any fiscal year. Retroactive pay would be prohibited.

In December 2016 Heller put out another in a long string of press releases touting his proposal:

“The only way to achieve the long-term fiscal solution Americans deserve is through the U.S. House and Senate passing a budget and all appropriations bills on time.  As the Senate begins the consideration of a continuing resolution, I am filing the ‘No Budget, No Pay’ Act as an amendment. The amendment puts the needs of our nation’s citizens ahead of the next Washington-manufactured crisis.”

Now Rosen is glomming on to Heller’s idea. Welcome to the general election season.

It could be a tight race. According to the Secretary of State, 143,320 Democrats voted in the Senate primary and 110,530 voted for Rosen. In the Republican primary, 142,175 Republicans voted in the Senate primary and 99,472 voted for Heller.