BU Professor Talks Congress Gridlock

Published 10/01 2013 05:42PM

Updated 10/01 2013 06:17PM

PEORIA – The gridlock in Congress is changing the lives of thousands of government employees who must live without a paycheck.

Bradley University Professor Josh Ryan, Ph.D, studies the American government. He said Congress hasn’t been this dysfunctional in more than 100 years.

The Republican-controlled House and Democrat-controlled Senate aren’t able to find a compromise on the budget, leaving many Americans with one question – Why aren’t lawmakers losing their paychecks.

Ryan explained. “There is actually a constitutional requirement that says we can't change congressional salaries during a term and that was actually meant to prevent congress from raising their own salaries, but it also has the effect of not letting congress cut their own salaries.”

Ryan said Congress must quickly end the shutdown and turn its attention to raising the debt ceiling.

That discussion is set for mid-October and if it doesn’t go well, Ryan said the U.S. could face a financial meltdown.

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