(NBC NEWS) -- Today's vote would raise the debt ceiling - allowing more borrowing through spring to pay America's bills.
And it cuts pay for lawmakers if they can't pass a budget by tax time - April 15th. "Most Americans believe if you don't do your job you shouldn't get paid," said House Speaker John Boehner, (R) Ohio.
"I'm tired of government governing by gimmicks. This is kind of another gimmick," said Rep. Jim McGovern (D) Massachusetts.
The Senate hasn't passed a budget in almost four years. "The last time they passed a budget the I-Pad hadn't even been introduced," said Rep. Kevin McCarthy, (R) California.
Paul Ryan will draft the Republican budget - likely with deeper cuts than the one he offered last year.
That's a carrot to get conservatives to go along, but some still want to see cuts first. "I will not vote to raise the debt ceiling unless significant efforts are made to fix the underlying problem," said Rep. Mo Brooks, (R) Alabama.
Senate Democrats hint they will pass a budget, but not necessarily soon. "We'll approach that when we need to." said Senate Majority Leader Senator Harry Reid, (D-NV).
The White House says even though its short term, the President will sign it. "The debt ceiling ought not to be political football,"said White House Press Secretary, Jay Carney.
This Republican retreat, with one last stand. If they can't compromise, lawmakers' paychecks could take a hit.
It's still unclear, however, if today's vote - a temporary extension to borrow more money - is enough to prevent another credit downgrade.