Wednesday marked Day 26 of the partial government shutdown and U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., wants to keep it from happening again.
Paul reintroduced the Government Shutdown Prevention Act to incentivize Congress to properly consider and debate spending legislation. He was joined by other Republican senators, Mike Lee of Utah and Joni Ernst of Iowa, in co-sponsoring the bill.
Instead of government shutting down operations over stalled funding in the future, Paul’s plan would keep government open but institute a one-percent cut to then-current funding levels for any agency, program and activity that Congress failed to fund by the start of the fiscal year, Oct. 1. Funding would be reduced by another one percent every 90 days thereafter that an agreement is still not enacted.
“No matter where one stands on the debate over government spending, we should all be able to agree that Congress needs to handle Americans’ money thoughtfully and hit its deadlines,” he said. “The Government Shutdown Prevention Act would take a major step forward toward bringing basic fiscal responsibility to Capitol Hill.”
Currently, Congress does not face any consequences for failing to pass appropriations bills on time, which has helped lead to it pursuing procrastination over prudence and risking shutdowns due to impasses.
“Giving Congress more time to act without consequences will not solve this problem,” Paul said. “So we are at a deadlock now, but my bill will fix it.”
Along with ensuring government honors its obligations and maintains its operations, Paul’s proposal would give agencies the certainty of knowing that, even in a worst-case scenario, they will always be able to operate with a full year of funding at no less than 96 percent of their then-current levels.