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Republican Bill Introduced That Would Force Lawmakers To Stay in DC During Shutdown

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Republican Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa has introduced a bill that would prohibit lawmakers from leaving the nation’s capital if they fail to pass a budget on time.

The “No Budget, No Recess Act” would ban members of Congress from leaving Washington if there is no budget in place by April 15 or if spending bills are not all approved by Aug. 1, according to a press release issued by Ernst. In the latter case, the traditional August recess, where members go to their home states, would be sacrificed.

The federal fiscal year begins every Oct. 1. The release notes that since 1976, the full year’s budget has been approved on time in only four instances.

Ernst talked about the proposal Saturday on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends.”



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Ernst said the bill would end the cycle of stopgap funding.

“Hardworking Iowans, and Americans across the country, are sick and tired of government shutdowns, continuing resolutions and massive omnibus spending bills,” she said. “This dysfunctional cycle is not the way our government was designed to function or should function.

“If we fail to pass a budget and spending bills, we should stay in town and work together until we get the job done.”

Two other Republican senators joined Ernst in introducing the proposal.

“If the government shuts down due to congressional dysfunction and failure to agree on spending bills, Members of the Senate and House, the President, and his Cabinet should not be allowed to leave DC,” Oklahoma’s James Lankford said in a statement.

“If we want to really put the pressure on Congress to take action on funding, we should prevent Members from going home or traveling during pre-scheduled ‘recess weeks,’ which would encourage Congress to actually have those tough conversations about spending. Just as Americans expect us to, we need to stay until the job is done,” he said.

Lankford said the current situation shows the need for change.

“We are on day 26 of the longest-ever government shutdown, and yet Congress is about to go home for the weekend, with some Members flying out of the country,” he said. “The proposal that we offer today would keep Congress in town until the budget is finally resolved. During a government shutdown, Congress and the White House should experience pain, not the American people.”

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Georgia Sen. David Perdue said federal lawmakers no longer should be exempt from reality in making budgets.

Would you like to see the "No Budget, No Recess Act" become law?

“Congress should be held to the same standards of people in the real world,” he said in a statement. “Washington’s broken funding process has created a dysfunctional cycle of continuing resolutions, last-minute spending deals, and government shutdowns. Enough is enough.

“It’s time to create a politically neutral platform to fund the government on time every year, including real consequences for Members of Congress if they don’t get the entire job done. We should not go home until we have completed our work. Period.”

The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget said it supported the proposal.

“A measure like the No Budget, No Recess Act would have provided an additional incentive for lawmakers to stay until a solution to the outstanding appropriations bills was found,” said a statement on the organization’s website.

“We support bipartisan work to fix our broken budget process and commend Ernst, Lankford, and Perdue for introducing this legislation,” the group said.

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Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack can be reached at jackwritings1@gmail.com.
Location
New York City
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Topics of Expertise
Politics, Foreign Policy, Military & Defense Issues




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