As Congress gears up for yet another government shutdown battle, and Tea Party Republicans attempt to defund Planned Parenthood and take away reproductive healthcare from 630,000 Americans, one Congressman is fed up. Rep. Nick Nolan (D-MIN) has just introduced a bill, the ‘‘No Government, No Pay Act of 2015’,’ to prevent members of Congress from getting paid if they shut down the government again.
“It’s time to put an end to government by crisis management. And it’s time for Congress to start living in the real world — where you either do your job — or you don’t get paid. If hundreds of thousands of other federal employees are to go without their salaries — twisting slowly in the wind in a government shutdown — then the Congress should not be paid either” said Nolan in a statement.
Nolan introduced a similar bill during the last shutdown, and donates his shutdown pay to charities in his district. His actions send a strong message to the rest of Congress. The constant re-fighting of political battles and the brinkmanship that the Republican-led Congress has established as business as usual is a huge embarrassment to our country and a dire indictment of our political system. Congress’s 15% approval rating is evidence enough. There are huge issues facing our nation, but the right-wing insists on wasting our time on social issues that the majority of Americans aren’t concerned about. It’s far beyond time our legislators began behaving like rational adults and actually sit down to govern.
Colin Taylor is the editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.