Text: H.R.2335 — 113th Congress (2013-2014)

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Introduced in House (06/12/2013)


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[Congressional Bills 113th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H.R. 2335 Introduced in House (IH)]

113th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                H. R. 2335

  To prohibit Members of Congress from receiving pay when the Federal 
 Government is unable to make payments or meet obligations because the 
                  public debt limit has been reached.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                             June 12, 2013

Mr. McDermott introduced the following bill; which was referred to the 
                   Committee on House Administration

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
  To prohibit Members of Congress from receiving pay when the Federal 
 Government is unable to make payments or meet obligations because the 
                  public debt limit has been reached.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Pay Your Bills or Lose Your Pay Act 
of 2013''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    Congress finds the following:
            (1) It is an American value to meet all obligations.
            (2) A AAA credit rating is essential to the economic 
        standing of the United States in the world.
            (3) The statutory debt limit was increased--
                    (A) 18 times during the presidency of Ronald 
                Reagan;
                    (B) 4 times during the presidency of George H. W. 
                Bush;
                    (C) 6 times during the presidency of William J. 
                Clinton; and
                    (D) 7 times during the presidency of George W. 
                Bush.
            (4) Section 4 of the 14th Amendment of the United States 
        Constitution states ``the validity of the public debt of the 
        United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for 
        payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing 
        insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned''.
            (5) The statutory debt limit is increased by Congress to 
        pay financial obligations authorized by Congress.
            (6) The ratings agency Moody's has called for the public 
        debt limit to be eliminated.
            (7) The United States is one of the few nations in the 
        world with a public debt limit.
            (8) The annual budget resolution, voted on by members of 
        the Senate and House of Representatives, specifies the 
        appropriate level of the public debt for each fiscal year 
        covered by the resolution.
            (9) At times the statutory debt limit must be increased to 
        honor financial obligations authorized and appropriated by 
        Congress and the President of the United States.
            (10) The credit rating agency Standard and Poor's 
        downgraded the credit rating of the United States for the first 
        time in its history on August 5, 2011, citing ``political 
        brinksmanship'' as a primary reason for its action.
            (11) In July 2012, the Government Accountability Office 
        estimated that the 2011 debt limit standoff cost taxpayers 
        $1,300,000,000 in fiscal year 2011, and the Government 
        Accountability Office further noted that ``Congress should 
        consider ways to . . . avoid potential disruptions to the 
        Treasury market and to help inform the fiscal policy debate in 
        a timely way.''.
            (12) In January 2013, the Bipartisan Policy Center 
        estimated that the 10-year cost to taxpayers of the 2011 debt 
        limit standoff is $18,900,000,000.

SEC. 3. HOLDING SALARIES OF MEMBERS OF CONGRESS IN ESCROW UPON FAILURE 
              TO MEET DEBT OBLIGATIONS.

    (a) Holding Salaries in Escrow.--
            (1) In general.--If the Federal Government is unable to 
        make payments or meet obligations because the public debt limit 
        under section 3101 of title 31, United States Code, has been 
        reached, during the period described in paragraph (2) the 
        payroll administrator of each House of Congress shall deposit 
        in an escrow account all payments otherwise required to be made 
        during such period for the compensation of Members of Congress 
        who serve in that House of Congress, and shall release such 
        payments to such Members only upon the expiration of such 
        period.
            (2) Period described.--The period described in this 
        paragraph is the period beginning on the date on which the 
        Federal Government is unable to make payments or meet 
        obligations because the public debt limit under section 3101 of 
        title 31, United States Code, has been reached, and ending on 
        the earlier of--
                    (A) the date on which the House of Representatives 
                and the Senate present a bill to the President under 
                article I, section 7 of the Constitution of the United 
                States, to increase the public debt limit under section 
                3101 of title 31, United States Code; or
                    (B) the last day of the One Hundred Thirteenth 
                Congress.
            (3) Withholding and remittance of amounts from payments 
        held in escrow.--The payroll administrator of each House of 
        Congress shall provide for the same withholding and remittance 
        with respect to a payment deposited in an escrow account under 
        paragraph (1) that would apply to the payment if the payment 
        were not subject to paragraph (1).
            (4) Release of amounts at end of congress.--In order to 
        ensure that this section is carried out in a manner that shall 
        not vary the compensation of Senators or Representatives in 
        violation of the 27th Amendment to the Constitution of the 
        United States, the payroll administrator of a House of Congress 
        shall release for payments to Members of that House of Congress 
        any amounts remaining in any escrow account under this section 
        on the last day of the One Hundred Thirteenth Congress.
            (5) Role of secretary of the treasury.--The Secretary of 
        the Treasury shall provide the payroll administrators of the 
        Houses of Congress with such assistance as may be necessary to 
        enable the payroll administrators to carry out this section.
    (b) Treatment of Delegates as Members.--In this section, the term 
``Member'' includes a Delegate or Resident Commissioner to Congress.
    (c) Payroll Administrator Defined.--In this section, the ``payroll 
administrator'' of a House of Congress means--
            (1) in the case of the House of Representatives, the Chief 
        Administrative Officer of the House of Representatives, or an 
        employee of the Office of the Chief Administrative Officer who 
        is designated by the Chief Administrative Officer to carry out 
        this section; and
            (2) in the case of the Senate, the Secretary of the Senate, 
        or an employee of the Office of the Secretary of the Senate who 
        is designated by the Secretary to carry out this section.
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