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Economy & Business

Commentary: No budget, no pay

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Jan. 22, 2013 - I still remember working alongside my parents in the family-owned carpet store in Manchester called “Carpetime.” There, they taught me that if you worked hard and lived within your means, the American Dream was at your fingertips. That dream can still be possible for our kids and grandkids, but not if we continue down the path of spending trillions of dollars that we do not have.

Today, families from all over the St. Louis area are calling on Washington to wake up – stop the spending and get the government off the backs of hard working people trying to make a living. With our national debt now exceeding $16 trillion, this is no longer just an economic issue – it is a moral issue as well. Our credit cards are maxed out and every child born today is saddled with more than $52,000 in debt; and as mother of three children, I see that reality as tragically unacceptable.

To secure a more prosperous future and protect the American Dream, I am committed to restoring fiscal sanity to Washington so we can finally grow our economy out of the economic downturn and increase the standard of living for hard working middle-class families.

The time for action is now, and we must take this opportunity to stop mortgaging our future and set a course that invigorates our economy while reducing our massive debt. Frankly, our future is NOW. I am fighting for every nurse, teacher, carpenter, small business owner and mother in the 2nd Congressional District.

First, before we can tackle the major drivers of our debt we have to get back to the basics.

The Democratic-led Senate has only exacerbated this debt-crisis by not passing a budget in nearly four years. Every family and small business owner in Jefferson, St. Charles, and St. Louis counties has a budget and it is past time for the president's U.S. Senate to live within its means.

This week, the U.S. House of Representatives will consider legislation to temporarily raise the debt ceiling for 90 days and require the House and Senate to each pass a budget or else members of Congress won’t get paid.

The notion is simple -- no budget, no pay.

House Republicans have listened to the American people and have passed a responsible budget in each of the last two years that promotes economic growth while addressing our crippling debt, and we will do it again. It is time for the Democratic-controlled Senate to do its job and finally pass a budget.

I spend a lot of time listening to small business owners and families around the district and they always tell me that if you can’t pass a budget you shouldn't get paid. It is time for Washington to stop kicking the can down the road and perform the most basic constitutional function of governance – pass a responsible budget!

The American people want their elected officials to get the job done and stop making headlines for all of the wrong reasons. The time to act is now. The 113th Congress was elected to tackle our nation’s greatest challenges, and I am committed to getting this done for the people of the 2nd District.

Now it’s up to the U.S. Senate to do its job - no budget, no pay.

Ann Wagner, a Republican, represents Missouri's 2nd congressional district.

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