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GOP bill would dock members' pay for missed legislative votes

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With its passage in the House, CISPA will now head to the Senate where several advocacy groups will seek reform. (Photo: Andy Withers/Flickr)

Rep. Charles Boustany, R-Louisiana, is working to implement a sort of mandatory attendance policy for the House of Representatives. His "No Show, No Pay Act" would dock pay for members who miss legislative votes.

The rep's office released this statement from Boustany:

“Serving as a Member of Congress is not a part-time job. The primary duty of a Member of Congress is to advocate on behalf of its constituency by casting important votes. Some of my colleagues take their office for granted and refuse to accept this responsibility. They habitually miss important votes on key policy initiatives and legislation by leaving early or arriving late in order to attend fundraising and campaign events.

“This bill discourages these offenders from dodging their Constitutional duty by holding them accountable to their constituency. Under my bill, a Member missing a single vote would not receive pay for that entire day. The legislation improves transparency and accountability by requiring the House to provide an online list of Members who are absent each month, including cumulative deductions for absences of each Member posted online as well.

“As representatives in Washington, we must remember to serve as the voice of the people. I am honored to be trusted with this responsibility and look forward to representing the people of South Louisiana for years to come.” 

While I think Boustany's heart is in the right place, I don't think I could support the bill.  Walking out on a vote is an exercise of protest and an expression of opinion which shouldn't be banned.

However, I think I could get on board with the Daily Caller's Jamie Weinstein who suggests doing the opposite -- paying some congressmen not to vote.

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