Pelosi flips 'no budget, no pay' back on GOP

Greg Nash

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) is flipping Republicans' "no budget, no pay" campaign back on the GOP.

Republican leaders had railed against Democrats for failing to move a budget resolution when Democrats controlled the Senate.

Now, however, it's House Republicans who are struggling to pass a budget plan in the face of entrenched opposition from conservatives who feel it doesn't cut federal spending enough.

The dynamics have not been lost on Pelosi, who is jabbing the GOP with suggestions of hypocrisy. 

"You know, the Republicans ... when we were in power, were famous for saying 'no budget, no paycheck' and all," Pelosi said during a press briefing in the Capitol. "[They] made a big fuss about that, and now they can't get a budget." 

The budget debate has been a thorn in the side of Speaker Paul RyanPaul RyanDems brace for immigration battle if Clinton wins RNC chairman: Ryan one of 'brightest stars' in Republican Party Gingrich: 'Of course' we can afford to have president with split personality MORE (R-Wis.), whose turn as chairman of the House Budget Committee sent his star rising within the GOP. Ryan says Republican leaders can still pass their spending blueprint, which moved through the Budget Committee on Wednesday. 

But united opposition from Democrats, combined with the criticism from conservative Freedom Caucus members, has made it a tough lift. 

Ryan said Thursday leaders are continuing a "team discussion" on how to move forward but praised Budget Chairman Tom Price (R-Ga.) for advancing the bill quickly. 

"This is a budget that balances the budget, pays off the debt, honors our military with the equipment they need," Ryan told reporters in the Capitol. "It calls for tax reform, it repeals ObamaCare, it does everything we need to do on the entitlement side to move people from welfare to work, and to pay off this debt."

Asked by The Hill if he supported withholding lawmakers pay if they can't pass a budget, Ryan replied: "I support passing a budget. I’ll just leave it at that."

Ryan voted for the No Budget, No Pay Act in 2013.

Democrats, meanwhile, are hammering the GOP's budget as a "disaster" that "devastates good-paying jobs, lacking investment in education, the future of infrastructure in America [and] abandon seniors," in the words of Pelosi. 

"And yet, it is not brutal enough for their Tea Party element," she said, referring to the conservative critics. 

Absent a budget, Pelosi is urging GOP leaders to pass an emergency spending bill to address the water crisis in Flint, Mich., the Zika virus and the national opioid scourge. 

"We shouldn't adjourn until we do," she said.