Is the “no budget, no pay” unconstitutional?

by Ashley Bidne

Widener University Political Science/Criminal Justice Major

We all know the stereotypes that say congress is incapable of agreeing or compromising on anything. America is now facing approximately $16 trillion in debt and for almost 4 years the United States has not had a set budget.  Any average citizen would find themselves hiding from collectors and moving back in with their parents. However, the federal budget is not so simple. Now a “no budget, no pay” bill has been passed extending the debt limit and holding congress accountable for a budget.

Although, many are claiming this bill is unconstitutional according to the 27th Amendment. The 27th amendment reads “No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened,” In my opinion, this simply limits senators and representatives from raising their pay until after  congressional elections, except for Cost of Living Allowances. The bill would not reduce members pay, but withhold it. This puts ample amount of pressure on Representatives and Senators to finally make a budget for the United States. My only concern is whether their paychecks will take priority over what is best for our country and its finances.  However, we can all agree that four years is a significant amount of time to be without a budget, it is time to put pressure on congress to do their job.

Enough is Enough

by Stephen Scuderi

Widener University Political Science Major

With an approval rating of 11 percent, Congress has reached an all time low in the eyes of the American people. Unable to agree or make solid compromises, both houses have deteriorated into mudslinging matches that leave the citizens of United States angered, ashamed, and desperate for change. But who is to blame? Is it the Republicans, who are refusing to compromise in order ruin President Obama’s term? Or is it Democrats, who are accused of being ‘spineless’ and unwilling to fight for proper compromise?

In my opinion the stagnation of Congress is the fault of both parties. Party polarization has become so strong that nothing can get done. It’s common knowledge that the first priority of every politician is reelection but enough is enough. Politicians, especially Republicans are afraid to work across the aisle for fear of being labeled as a ‘moderate’. In the Republican Presidential Primary, Newt Gingrich has been attacked for participating in a climate change ad with Nancy Pelosi. I find it disheartening that simply being seen with opposition is toxic to ones political career. It’s time for Congress to remember their oath of office, “…I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter..”, because how they are currently acting is a disgrace to their position and a disserve to the American people.