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Republican congressman wants to dock pay for members who miss votes

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Alex Pappas
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      Alex Pappas

      Alex Pappas is a Washington D.C.-based political reporter for The Daily Caller. He has also written for The Washington Examiner and the Mobile Press-Register. Pappas is a graduate of The University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., where he was editor-in-chief of The Sewanee Purple. While in college, he did internships at NBC's Meet the Press and the White House. He grew up in Mobile, Ala., where he graduated from St. Paul's Episcopal School. He and his wife live on Capitol Hill.

A Republican congressman is introducing a bill that calls for docking the pay of members of Congress who miss votes.

Louisiana Rep. Charles W. Boustany, Jr. is calling his bill the “No Show, No Pay Act.”

Boustany said in a statement Tuesday that the bill is in response to members who “habitually miss important votes on key policy initiatives and legislation by leaving early or arriving late in order to attend fundraising and campaign events.”

“The primary duty of a Member of Congress is to advocate on behalf of its constituency by casting important votes,” he said. “Some of my colleagues take their office for granted and refuse to accept this responsibility.”

A member missing a single vote would not receive pay for that entire day, under Boustany’s bill.

Most members of Congress receive a $174,000 annual salary.

From 2002 to 2011, Congress averaged 164 working days per session. That means members could see their pay docked $1,061 every day they miss a vote.

Boustany’s bill also calls for making absences more visible.

“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,” he said.

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