Editor:

There is a simple solution to the congressional stalemate on the national budget.

In 1977, Congress passed legislation designating Sept. 30 as the date for the new fiscal year budget. Since a primary function of Congress is to prepare a budget for the following year by Sept. 30, their lack of doing this task is tantamount to failure to pay diligence to their job responsibilities.

I doubt that any of us could ignore a major part of our job description and still remain employed and paid.

There have only been four times since 1977 that a budget was completed by the Sept. 30 deadline: 1977, 1989, 1995 and 1997. I propose that if a budget is not approved by the Sept. 30 date, that all congressmen/women, the president and the vice president cease receiving any pay and that when the budget is finalized, there will be no retroactive salary for the above mentioned.

Unfortunately, this will never occur as the Congress would have to initiate the process for this change and they are not likely to “cut their own throats.” Unfortunately, unlike many countries, the United States does not have a process for a national referendum on issues, thus eliminating a possible change.

Kathleen (Kit) Kellinger

Port Charlotte

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