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At a time when our nation faces immense problems, the American people have never had less faith in the ability of Congress to do anything about them. This situation couldn’t be more serious – if Congress is broken, so is the United States of America. Every law addressing any substantial issue has to go through Congress first. That means if we want a balanced budget, a better immigration system or more effective educational and energy policies, we first need to end the gridlock in Congress. No Labels believes Congress’s biggest problem isn’t necessarily the people in it - it’s the standstill, refusal to engage in dialogue, absence of our leaders in Washington full-time and outdated rules that govern the institution that make it impossible for anything to get done. Congress has become a place where even good, talented people get dragged down by a broken system. But if the norms of Congress change, we can make our government work again.
Most of our 12 proposals to Make Congress Work! don’t require new laws or spending,
and they don’t favor any political party or side of any particular issue. The No Budget, No Pay Act was the only proposal that required Congress to pass explicit legislation. As the 113th Congress began in January 2013 Speaker Boehner attached a version of the No Budget, No Pay proposal to legislation that would temporarily raise the debt ceiling. While the measure differed slightly from No Labels' original plan, the fundamental concept remained the same: If Congress can't pass a budget, members should not be paid. The House passed the measure on January 23 by a vote of 285 to 144, and the Senate followed suit on January 31, passing the bill 64 to 34. On February 4, with the President’s signature, No Budget, No Pay became the law of the land.
No Budget, No Pay and the rest of the proposals to Make Congress Work! are simple, straightforward plans to break gridlock, promote constructive discussion and reduce polarization in Congress. They can be adopted, almost all at once, whenever Congress chooses to do so.Sign the petition showing your support for our action plan to Make Congress Work! and send a letter to your members of Congress doing the same. Be sure to customize your letter where prompted in the sample.