EXCLUSIVE: Republicans in the House and Senate introduced legislation Tuesday that would postpone the payment of salary to all politically appointed executive branch staff whenever the president fails to submit an annual budget plan on time, after President Biden failed for the third year in a row to submit a spending plan to Congress on time.
The president is required to submit a budget plan by the first Monday of February, a requirement that is routinely ignored by the White House. The “Presidential Accountability for Yearly Submission of the United States’ Budget Act,” or the PAYSTUB Act, introduced by Sen. Roger Marshall, R-Kan., and Rep. Buddy Carter, R-Ga., looks to turn up the heat on politically appointed officials in order to create an incentive for the administration meet the deadline set by Congress.
“If the budget… is not submitted to Congress on or before the first Monday in February of a year, during the period beginning on the first Tuesday of February of such year and ending on the date the budget is submitted, no Federal funds may be obligated or expended for the salary or expenses of any political employee,” the bill said. It also prevents federal funding for the travel expenses of the president until the budget is released.
The president and several members of his cabinet will travel across 20 states this week after his State of the Union address to tout their policy accomplishments.
Marshall said his bill is essential to ensure there is a greater respect and more thorough process for planning federal spending at a time when many blame excessive federal outlays are contributing to high inflation.
“Disregard for the budget submission deadline is part of a larger culture of disrespect for our nation’s laws coming from the Oval Office,” Marshall said. “Presidents need to be held accountable for seemingly forgetting or just not caring about timely budget submissions, or else the American people will continue to see their elected officials left out of important funding discussions and forced to vote on massive, last minute Omnibus spending packages like we saw last December.”
Biden proposed a $5.8 trillion budget last year nearly two months past his February deadline.
The U.S. national debt sits at $31.4 trillion, and has grown quickly over the last few years thanks to COVID-related emergency spending that shot federal spending above $6 trillion for the last three years.
Carter said his bill would help formalize the budget process so Congress can address the growing national debt.
“Without an enforcement mechanism in place, budget deadlines are mere suggestions,” Carter said. Like households and businesses across the country, the United States government cannot function properly without a budget – look no further than the $31 trillion in national debt for proof.”