Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) introduced legislation today to “address the issues that may occur during a federal government shutdown,” according to a press release from his office. It’s called the Government Shutdown Prevention Act.
The measure “ensures that essential government services continue to function in absence of the passage of a spending bill, and incentivizes Congress to act.”
The bill is intended as a permanent rule to follow for the current and all future cases where Congress does not enact a budget or continuing resolution.
Some provisions noted in the release follow. They would apply in the event of an “expiration of any year’s appropriations and in the absence of a continuing resolution to the contrary.”
The Treasury is directed to fully pay the debt of the United States and all of its prior obligations in full.
The Social Security Administration is directed to send out all checks for current retirees, and accept all new applications for benefits.
Medicare and Medicaid are directed to fund all current obligations and accept new enrollees under current provisions of law.
Emergency war funding is continued at current levels. The Department of Defense is instructed to operate at 90 percent of previous year’s expenditures, and is authorized to send out paychecks to all military personnel at the full level of pay. Civilian employees based in the United States will be paid at the same 75 percent rate of other federal employees.
Agencies of the federal government are directed to report for business as normal. Since Congress has never failed to give back pay to federal workers, there is no reason for a furlough. Federal workers shall be paid when an agreement is reached, for the time worked under these provisions, at 75 percent of their salaries.
Congress and the White House may only operate at 50 percent of its previously appropriated levels for the time worked under these provisions.
Congressmen, Senators, and the President do not receive a salary during the emergency, and are not eligible for back pay when the emergency is vacated.
All other non-personnel accounts for all other agencies that would be covered under a yearly appropriations bill are directed to operate at two-thirds of previously approved funding levels. Their budgets must be reduced by the amount saved during the emergency.
The Executive Branch is directed to provide no funding for any program created by Obamacare.
The Executive Branch is directed to expend no federal funds to provide abortion services, or to agencies who provide abortion services.
This bill will be in effect until a continuing resolution or full appropriations bill are passed and signed into law.