SAVANNAH, Georgia — Two weeks after Rep. John Barrow rolled out a campaign ad telling voters he wants a law ensuring members of Congress don’t get paid if they fail to pass a budget, his Republican opponent fired back Monday with a TV spot saying the congressman voted against that very idea last year and is “lying to stay in office.”
GOP challenger Rick Allen’s campaign is sharpening its attacks against Barrow, an Augusta Democrat, with barely three weeks left until Election Day. To win a sixth term in the U.S. House, Barrow has been working hard to win over conservative and independent voters in east Georgia’s 12th District, which was redrawn a few years ago to give Republicans an edge. The seat covers 19 counties and includes Augusta, Statesboro, Dublin and Vidalia.
So who’s telling the truth about Barrow’s position on the idea known as “no budget, no pay” in Washington?
Since 2012, Barrow has co-sponsored a bill to withhold pay from Congress if lawmakers can’t pass a budget each year by Oct. 1, the start of the federal government’s fiscal year. However, he also voted against a version of “no budget, no pay” on Jan. 23, 2013, that House Republicans attached to a deal to temporarily avert a debt crisis.
Allen’s campaign says Barrow’s “no” vote on the House floor proves he’s not serious about passing a law that could force him to forgo his own paycheck. An announcer closes Allen’s new campaign ad with the tagline: “John Barrow, lying to stay in office so he can keep spending — and keep getting paid.”