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Dean Heller all talk on “No Budget, No Pay” pledge

Washington, DC – At a press conference hosted yesterday by the No Labels group, Senator Dean Heller renewed his call to withhold pay for members of Congress if they fail to pass a budget. However, when he had the opportunity to actually cast a vote on a measure to prevent payment in the event of a government shutdown, he voted no.

“Dean Heller is all talk when it comes to holding members accountable for their inability to serve the constituents they were sent to Washington to represent. It is one thing to talk a good game at a press conference, but apparently something completely different when it comes to actually casting votes,” said Matt Thornton, spokesman for American Bridge 21st Century.

Heller Joined With No Labels To Withhold Congressional Pay If A Budget Was Not Passed. According to Las Vegas Sun, “Heller participated Tuesday in a press conference sponsored by the nonpartisan advocacy group No Labels, which was holding a forum in the Capitol to promote a ‘Make Congress Work’ agenda. Heller’s ‘No Budget, No Pay’ act is the first item of the group’s 12-point plan. ‘If we don’t budget by the end of this fiscal year … members of Congress will not get paid,’ Heller said of his proposal. ‘I believe we’re here to do a job, we’re here to work, we’re here to do what’s best for the American people, and that’s the concept behind ‘No Budget, No Pay’.’” [Las Vegas Sun, 12/13/11]

Heller: “If Congress Doesn’t Do Its Job, Then Members Shouldn’t Get Paid.” Heller introduced legislation that “requires Members of Congress to pass a budget in order to receive pay.” Heller said, “If Congress doesn’t do its job, then Members shouldn’t get paid.” As of July 12, 2011, the Senate had gone over 800 days since passing a budget and had been operating by continuing resolutions. [Heller Press Release, 7/28/11; Las Vegas Sun, 7/12/11]

Heller In April: Voted Against Withholding Pay During Government Shutdown. In April 2011, Heller voted against legislation “that would prevent lawmakers and the president from being paid for the duration of any government shutdown that lasts more than 24 hours or from receiving that pay retroactively.” [Roll Call 223, H R 1255, 4/1/11; Congressional Quarterly Bill Analysis, Vote #223]