PHOENIX -- Arizona Congressman Paul Gosar, who's wrapped-up in a tough Republican primary fight, wants to get paid for a job he says he didn't do.
According to a campaign press release, Gosar co-sponsored a bill that would strip lawmakers of their pay if Congress doesn't pass a budget by the start of the fiscal year.
Since Gosar was elected two years ago, that hasn't happened. But that doesn't mean the Republican politician is willing to give up any part of his $174,000 congressional salary.
The point of the "No Budget, No Pay Act," said Gosar's campaign handlers, is to give lawmakers a reason to pass a budget by the start of October.
"There has to be an incentive for everybody to do this," said Barrett Marson, a spokesman for the Gosar campaign. "One person giving up a paycheck does not provide that incentive."
And besides, Marson said, the proposed law is aimed at the U.S. Senate which hasn’t passed a budget on time in the past three years. Marson did say the Arizona congressman would forgo his pay if the law is passed.
But in his press release, Gosar said, "If we can't, pass a budget on time, we shouldn't get a paycheck on time either. I was raised to believe that if you don't work, you don't get paid."
Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.) introduced the bill in May and has found more than 50 co-sponsors. Cooper is part of the "Fix Congress Now" caucus which was started, in part, by a pair of GOP freshman congressmen.
Gosar is battling state Sen. Ron Gould and businessman Rick Murphy for the Republican nomination in Arizona's 4th Congressional District.