In August of 2011, Standard & Poor’s (S&P) became the first of the “Big Three” credit ratings agencies to downgrade the United States’ long-term financial outlook. In their explanation, S&P stated, "Our lowering of the rating was prompted by our view on the rising public debt and our perception of greater policymaking uncertainty.”
“We can no longer afford more political posturing, when what the American people deserve is transparency and an honest picture of Washington’s spending trajectory,” Rep. Thompson added. “Inaction threatens our financial well being and that of future generations. It’s time for the Senate to get to work and ensure our creditors that the U.S. Government can and will fulfill its obligations.”
In January, 2013, Fitch Ratings credit agency warned that the failure to make progress on the nation’s structural debt would “likely still result in a downgrade of the U.S. credit rating.”
The 27th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibits Congress from varying its own pay within a given Congress, but is silent on when members should be paid. H.R. 325 states that if a chamber does not pass a budget, a member’s pay will be withheld and put in escrow until the budget is resolved.
At time of press, the Senate had not scheduled a vote on the measure.
Click here to view Thompson’s floor remarks prior to passage.