Senate

Romney jokes about his multiple houses while arguing against tying lawmaker pay to budget

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) joked about his multiple homes during a hearing Wednesday in arguing against a provision that would tie lawmaker pay to Congress's ability to pass a budget.

The former Massachusetts governor and 2012 GOP presidential nominee argued that the "No Budget, No Pay" proposal would not affect him personally, but could hurt lower-income legislators.

When he noted that he personally would not be affected, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), who supports the proposal and offered an amendment at the hearing, joked, "We're all just moving into your house."

"You're welcome," Romney quipped. "Which one?"

"Whichever one you have free," Sinema replied. 

Romney later said he was concerned about the precedent the provision could set. 

"I just think we have to ask ourselves if we want to start using pay to put pressure on people to vote a certain way, and have people make their decisions in part on getting more money for themselves. Getting their pay so they can stay in their apartment or buy their food," he said.

The "No Budget, No Pay" proposal from Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) was passed out of the House Homeland Security Committee on Wednesday. Scott originally sponsored the measure with Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.) in January.

When speaking on the provision, Scott called it "common sense."

"It's what happens in business," he said. "If you don't do your job in business you don't get paid and the same thing should happen here."

The proposal was added to a bill that would limit travel by members of Congress, congressional staffers and executive branch officials as well as implement automatic continuing resolutions to fund the government, according to Roll Call.

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