The Bera for Congress campaign released its first ad of the 2014 general election today highlighting how Dr. Bera has kept his promise to put the people of Sacramento County before politics, including championing the No Budget No Pay law, returning his pay during the Republican shutdown, and returning his Congressional pension until Social Security and Medicare are secure.
"As a doctor, I took an oath to serve my patients, and in Congress I pledged to put the people of Sacramento County first," said Bera. "I've kept my promise, because to me, Congress should be a place for service, not personal profit."
In 2012, Congressman Bera made the following pledge that he has stood by. He pledged to:
The new 30-second ad will begin running online today. Watch the ad here.
BACKGROUND AND SCRIPT
To Doctor Ami Bera, a promise made is a promise kept. Bera championed a bill that says if Congress doesn’t do it’s job, it shouldn’t get paid.
Elk Grove Patch: Bera "Major Proponent of the No Budget No Pay Act" Saying that “Congress should lead by example and put people before politics,” Dr. Ami Bera pledged to "give up his federal pay for the duration of the government shutdown" in 2013. The Elk Grove Patch identified him as "a major proponent of the No Budget No Pay Act, which says if members of Congress don't do their job and pass a responsible budget, they don't get paid" and added that "Bera has led the fight to keep Congress accountable." [Elk Grove Patch, 10/2/2013]
Folsom Telegrah: No Budget No Pay "Signed into Law." In an interview with the Folsom Telegraph, Dr. Ami Bera noted that "I ran on ‘no-budget, no-pay.' I sponsored it in my first month and it passed the House and passed the Senate and was signed into law by the President." [Folsom Telegraph, 11/6/2013]
Co-Sponsored "No Budget, No Pay" Bill In 2013, Bera co-sponsored H.R. 310, which would require members of Congress to pass a timely budget or forfeit their paychecks. As opposed to the No Budget No Pay provision that was passed as part of debt ceiling legislation, the bill would not allow members to receive their pay retroactively once the budget was passed. The Sacramento Bee reported the bill was similar to the penalty approved in California's voter-approved Proposition 25. [H.R. 310, CRS Summary Link; H.R. 325, CRS Summary Link; Roll Call, 1/24/13, Sacramento Bee, 1/23/13]
Bera voted in favor of another version of No Budget, No Pay, H.R. 325, which included the debt ceiling suspension. This bill passed 285 to 144. [Roll Call #30, 1/23/2013] Upon passage of the debt ceiling legislation containing the "No Budget, No Pay" Act Bera said: As an original co-sponsor of H.R. 310, the stand-alone and original No Budget No Pay Act, I am pleased to see the 113th Congress begin to address our core obligation- to pass a responsible budget that not only honors the promises that we have made to our parents and grandparents but also secures a prosperous future for our children and grandchildren...We can do this but we must do so in a bi-partisan way. [Sacramento Bee, 1/23/13 ; Roll Call, 1/24/13 ; McClatchy Washington Bureau, 2/7/13]
So when Republicans in Congress forced a government shut down, Bera kept his promise and gave up his federal pay.
According to the Atlantic, the government shutdown in 2013 was caused by "a small rump of members in the Republican caucus." They forced Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) to forbid a compromise resolution from coming to the House floor. The resolution would have likely passed and continued fundinG the government, but it would not have defunded the Affordable Care Act, which made it unacceptable to the "rump." [The Atlantic, 8/4/2013]
Elk Grove Patch: "Bera Gives Up Pay Earned During Shutdown." In an article titled "Congressman Bera Gives Up Pay Earned During Shutdown," the Elk Grove Patch reported that Dr. Ami Bera pledged to "give up his federal pay for the duration of the government shutdown" in 2013. Saying that "Congress should lead by example and put people before politics," Bera was identified as "a major proponent of the No Budget No Pay Act, which says if members of Congress don't do their job and pass a responsible budget, they don't get paid." The Elk Grove Patch added that "Bera has led the fight to keep Congress accountable."
The Sacramento Bee also noted that Bera, among other California congresspeople, had "asked the House to withhold their pay until the shutdown is over" and reported that his "shutdown pay status" was "no pay." [Elk Grove Patch, 8/2/2013; Congressman Bera Press Release, 10/2/2013; Sacramento Bee, 10/1/2013; Sacramento Bee, 10/2/2013]
And he fulfilled his pledge to return his congressional pension until every American has the retirement security they deserve.
Because people, not politics, come first.
Sacramento Bee: "Bera Returns Pension to Treasury." In a 2014 piece titled "Ami Bera returns pension to treasury," the Sacramento Bee reported that Dr. Bera kept his promise "not to Take a congressional pension until key entitlement programs were secured for years into the future." Bera issued "a check for $4,915 to the U.S. Treasury Bureau of the Public Debt" which reflected "the amount he accrued in pension benefits last year." The Bee added that this pledge underscored "his support for reinforcing Medicare and Social Security." [Sacramento Bee, 3/27/2014]