Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) introduced a bill on Thursday called the No Pay Until Peace Act. This bill, if passed , will withhold a month of pay from all members of Congress every single time a mass shooting occurs. For this bill, a mass shooting is defined as the murder of four people or more during one incidence. Cleaver first put forth the bill after the shooting at a Texas elementary school which left 21 dead, including 19 students and two teachers.
“While the loss of one month’s paycheck doesn’t even begin to compare to the loss of a child, every lawmaker should be held accountable for the unconscionable failure to do something, anything, that will save lives,” Cleaver said during a press release.
Cleaver has also noted the Democrat’s efforts to pass gun control legislation and find a bipartisan agreement on “common-sense reforms”, but the Republican party has not cooperated.
During the last year, the Democratic-controlled House has managed to pass measures to expand background checks. However, even though the Democrats hold the majority, 10 Republicans are needed for a bill to overcome a filibuster. Such support has so far not been shown by Senate Republicans.
Cleaver also noted that according to Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, Americans are 25 times more likely to become murdered due to gun violence when compared to other high-income countries residents.
In 2022, the United States had on average 1.5 mass shootings per day or more than 10 shootings per week, according to the Gun Violence Archive. Just a week before the Texas school shooting, shooting in Buffalo left 10 dead.
“The time for thoughts and prayers has come and gone — now is the time for concrete action,” Cleaver added. “And if lawmakers aren’t going to do their jobs to protect the American people, then they ought not receive any compensation following the inevitable next mass shooting.”