Gary Gerrard, one of six candidates seeking the Republican nomination for the US Congress in Georgia’s 10th District was on Tim Bryant this morning pledging to forfeit his Congressional salary until the United States has passed a balanced budget. If you think you’ve heard this before, you have. Congress passed a “No Budget, No Pay” (HR 235) back in January of this year.
But under that version if either the House or the Senate failed to pass a budget members of either body would have merely had their paychecks put into an escrow account starting on April 16. They still would get their pay even if actual budget wasn’t in effect. Fortunately for the high-end restaurants of DC both bodies passed a version of a budget that is not balanced and hasn’t come out of committee and is destined for what insiders call a “CR fight” next month. The bottom line is that even after passage of the “No Budget, No Pay” act, the country doesn’t have a budget and Congressmen and women are still getting their paychecks. If you wonder how Congress has a 17 percent approval rating, you need only to look at things like that.
Gerrard says he’s not going to take a salary until a balanced budget is passed. He’s a candidate in a crowded field, and of course has to say things like that. Some may choose to dismiss his pledge as nothing more than a cynical campaign stunt. Of course it is. Washington breeds this kind of cynicism and that’s why any candidate from any party can successfully run against Washington. The cynicism is deserved so long as we get those who govern us giving us their own rhetorical stunts rather than actually passing the budgets that we elect them to do.
Full release below the fold.
For Immediate Release Contact- Gary Gerrard
August 7, 2013 706-990-8399
Gerrard Will Forfeit Congressional Salary Until Federal Budget is Balanced
(Lexington, GA)–Georgia’s 10th District Congressional Republican candidate Gary Gerrard today announced that if elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, he will refuse any salary until Congress passes a balanced budget.
“Every American understands that if you don’t do your job, you don’t get paid,” Gerrard said. “Congress has not passed a budget in over three years, much less a balanced budget. Congress must be held accountable for this failure,” Gerrard said.
In January, Congress passed the “No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013,” that required House and Senate salaries be held in escrow until each body passed a 2014 budget resolution, not an actual budget agreed to by both houses. There is no budget, and no pay is being withheld. “The act is just a gimmick,” Gerrard said. “That isn’t good enough. I will be personally accountable in the simplest way possible. I will forfeit all salary until Congress passes a balanced budget,” he said.
Gerrard believes that America deserves better than an all-talk, no-action Congress. “Members of Congress are elected to do a job, and if they can’t or won’t do it. Either way, they should not get paid, period,” said Gerrard. “If elected, I will accept no salary until Congress passes a balanced budget.”
Gerrard’s pledge doesn’t require Congressional approval–only integrity and the commitment to serve the country. “I challenge every other candidate for and member of Congress to make the same commitment I have,” said Gerrard.
This is not the first time Gerrard has donated his salary. As the CEO of Action, Inc., a community action agency serving the poor in 10 counties of NE Georgia, Gerrard donated his salary back to Action until it got out of a crushing debt due to mismanagement by a previous administration.
Gerrard added “I will only accept the standard reimbursement for travel and living expenses necessary to travel to and from Washington D.C., and to stay there while serving on official business,” he said. “Serving is reward enough. I will return any salary to the US Treasury as my contribution toward reducing the national debt. I am a fiscal conservative. I live by those principles. I believe any candidate for or member of Congress who is truly serious about setting the country on the right fiscal path will join me in this commitment.” said Gerrard.