Gov. Rick Scott unveiled another part of his “Make Washington Work” plan that has been a key element of his campaign for the U.S. Senate. Tuesday he proposed not paying members of Congress their salary if they fail to meet key appropriations deadlines or fail to pass a budget.
Scott says passing a budget is one of the “basic responsibilities” of Congress, but it has failed to pass appropriations bills on time for 22 straight years.
“Funding government is one of the most basic responsibilities of Congress, but not even the fear of a government shutdown has proven to be enough to motivate Congress to produce a timely budget,” Scott said in a written statement. “When the government shuts down because of Congress’ inaction, Floridians are the ones that are impacted, and we’ve had enough. It is unbelievable that career politicians in Washington still collect pay checks backed by taxpayer dollars when they fail to do their jobs.”
Scott says despite the numerous failures by Congress to pass a budget on time, congressional salaries have never been impacted. Scott says they should and blames his Democratic opponent directly.
“During the most recent government shutdown, I urged politicians to forgo their salaries – but Bill Nelson refused,” Scott added. “Just like in the real world, politicians should only get paid if they show up, get to work, and get the job done.”
Scott’s Make Washington Work platform also calls for term limits on Congress, requiring a super-majority two-thirds vote by Congress on tax and fee issues, and establishing a line item veto that would allow the president to veto specific items in a budget proposal without having to veto the entire budget.
Democrats were quick to criticize Scott’s latest element of his Make Washington Work proposal saying Scott will do and say whatever it takes to get elected.
“If voters want to know what he’d actually do in the Senate, look at his record: he drove Florida’s wages to the bottom of the nation while using his political power to increase his personal wealth by $46 million, ignored the impact of climate change, and helped write the health care bill in D.C. that would increase costs and slash coverage for pre-existing conditions,” said Nate Evans, spokesman for the Florida Democratic Party.