From the crew at No Labels:
With his victory over longtime Rep. Dan Lungren now official, Ami Bera is heading to Washington as the newly-elected congressman for the 7th District of California. While Bera’s triumph is a testimony to his political skills and personal appeal, his victory also demonstrates the public’s hunger for a new breed of political leadership, based around problem-solving and underscored by Bera’s championing of the No Labels-endorsed “No Budget, No Pay Act.”
This common sense legislation says that if Congress doesn’t do their job and pass a responsible budget, they don’t get paid. As Bera said on the campaign trail, “Most Americans work hard and play by the rules. We pay the bills, we make tough choices, and we hold up our end of the deal. It may be hard sometimes, but it’s what we always do. It’s time for Congress to play by the same rules as everyone else. We need leaders who will put the people first to break through the gridlock and move forward.”
According to Mark McKinnon, No Labels Co-Founder “Ami Bera’s victory in the congressional race in CA-7 is also a victory for problem-solving leadership in Washington. As indicated by his embrace of ‘No Budget, No Pay,” Bera is the type of leader Americans need and want in Washington. No Labels is proud to congratulate Ami Bera on his victory and to stand behind him and other Members of both parties dedicated to problem solving not point scoring.”
As the Fresno Bee noted, Bera made “No Budget, No Pay” a “central theme of his campaign.” In the campaign’s home stretch, Bera’s campaign released an ad titled, “No Pay,” which highlighted the absurdity of Members of Congress getting paid despite their failure to pass a budget each year. In an Elk Grove Citizen op-ed published in early October, Bera touted his endorsement of “No Budget, No Pay,” saying: “Congress must be held accountable for doing the jobs the people elect them to do. That’s why I pledge to sponsor ‘No Budget, No Pay,’ which would ensure that if members of Congress don’t do their job and pass a responsible budget, they don’t get paid. And that’s why I will work relentlessly with anyone, regardless of party, who is serious about creating jobs and rebuilding an economy that works for the middle class.”
In contrast to Bera, Rep. Lungren denied the legislation even a hearing in the relevant committee he chairs in Congress. As the Fresno Bee reported in a fact check of relevant campaign issues, “A congressional committee chaired by Lungren has not granted requests from other members to hold a hearing on the legislation, which calls for withholding pay for members of Congress if a federal budget resolution is not approved by the deadline. Bera has made his pledge to support the legislation a central theme of his campaign”
Said McKinnon, “Democracy works, after all. Ami Bera clearly understood the power of the public’s desire for action on common-sense measures like ‘No Budget, No Pay’ and recognized that embrace of the issue would also touch upon voters’ desire for something other than the status quo in Washington. Voters in CA-7 and across the nation want their elected representatives to stop fighting and start fixing.”
In addition to “No Budget, No Pay,” No Labels supports a range of common-sense proposals designed to reinvigorate problem-solving in Washington. On January 14, 2013 at Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center, New York, NY, No Labels will host a meeting titled, “Meeting to Make America Work,” to discuss how we can move forward on problem solving in Washington. At the meeting, No Labels will unveil two national leaders – one Republican, one Democrat – who will help guide the movement in 2013 and the organization will introduce a group of congressional Members who have signed on as members of the “Problem Solvers Bloc” in Congress. Learn more about No Labels and the meeting at http://meetforamerica.com/.