If you haven’t heard about the pending government shutdown, time to get out from under your rock. Having failed to pass a fiscal year 2011 budget the government has been repeatedly funded by a series of temporary budgets. Each time we get closer to the end of the current temporary budget the threat of a government shutdown hangs over the heads of Americans.
Today another temporary federal appropriation bill was passed. The bill HR 1363 would fund the federal government for one more week, ensuring yet another showdown and more headaches next week. But, just to make sure we can still fund our military adventurism and empire overseas the bill would fund the military through the end of the fiscal year.
The bill passed mainly on a party line vote, with 15 democrats crossing over to vote for the bill, and 6 republicans crossing over to vote against the bill. Notable republican no votes include Rand’s father Ron Paul, presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann, ‘tea party’ favorite Justin Amash and Iowa congressman Steve King.
A white house press release has already stated: “If presented with this bill, the president will veto it.”
It looks as though a government shutdown is inevitable. But Rand Paul may have a solution to prevent a government shutdown.
Today he introduced the “Government Shutdown Prevention Act of 2011.” A press released announcing the bill included the following:
The proposal ensures that essential government services continue to function in absence of the passage of a spending bill, and incentivizes Congress to act.
You may ask: what incentives would congress have to act? Well…
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.
Not only could this bill eliminate the current threat of a government shutdown, it may eliminate the threat of all future government shutdowns.
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.
A few provisions included in the bill do weaken it a bit in my opinion. Those provisions include not funding ObamaCare and abortion clinics during the time the bill is in effect (when there is no budget). While I do agree that those are issues that need dealt with, this is not the place to do it, and will limit support for this bill which may otherwise be a viable solution.
That slight criticism aside, this move shows again that Rand Paul isn’t afraid of going against the establishment. It also shows leadership in providing real long term solutions while his co-workers continue to play their games of partisan maneuvering and empty rhetoric. Again, no wonder this man is being looked to as a possible candidate for president.