WASHINGTON -- Rep. Rick Nolan thinks that if Congress doesn't do its job in appropriating funds to keep the federal government open, members should go without pay.
He has introduced legislation that requires lawmakers to go without pay if the government ceases operation.
This situation is not hypothetical.
Almost exactly two years ago, the federal government ceased most operations for 16 days after Congress failed to appropriate money to keep it open. Congressional Republicans and Democrats were at an impasse on funding for the Affordable Care Act.
This year, it's about federal funding for Planned Parenthood. The federal government runs out of money at the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30. Some Congressional Republicans have threatened to vote against a budget that includes federal money for Planned Parenthood.
DC budget guru Stan Collender put the odds of a shutdown today at 75 percent.
For Nolan, an Eighth Congressional District Democrat who has not voted for any bills that de-fund the family planning organization, he thinks the government is running by "crisis management."
"It's time for Congress to start living in the real world -- where you either do your job -- or you don't get paid," he said. "If hundreds of thousands of other federal employees are to go without their salaries, twisting slowly in the wind of a government shutdown, then the Congress should not be paid either."
Nolan's legislation requires Congress to work during a shutdown with no salary. Most rank and file members of Congress make $174,000 a year.