There are a lot of fools who fancy themselves smart.  Sometimes these fools even exist within the Conservative and Libertarian movement.  Seriously, if I hear one more of these yo-yos whine about how it is “unconstitutional” for Congressional pay to be withheld pending the passage of an actual budget, I am going to scream.

And if I hear one more supposedly Constitutionally literate talking head on the right claim this, I am going to demand that they permanently turn in their membership in the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy.

It is so utterly incompressible that people can be so dumb. To claim that withholding Congressional pay when Congress is not doing its job is impossible?  Especially when all one has to do is pull out their handy dandy pocket Constitution and turn to Article I, Section 6.

Here is what is said, verbatim, about Congressional pay:

“The Senators and Representatives shall receive a Compensation for their Services, to be ascertained by Law, and paid out of the Treasury of the United States.”

That’s it.  It doesn’t say how much they should get or how that amount is ascertained, except that such pay is to be determined, by law.

So, if a law is passed saying that Congress gets paid $0 if they don’t do their job and pass a budget then there is no Constitutional conflict.  After all, $0 is an amount of compensation.

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