Kildee introduces bill to shutdown-proof the federal government

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WASHINGTON (WJRT) (2/13/2019) - Congressman Dan Kildee introduced a bill Wednesday that effectively would shutdown-proof the federal government.

The Ensure Washington Funds Government Responsibly Act would automatically trigger a short-term spending bill if Congress can't fund the government on time, ensuring all federal employees can continue working and be paid on time.

Members of Congress and the president would not be paid until a budget agreement is reached. Their paychecks instead would go into an escrow account, incentivizing them to reach an agreement.

“The American people and our dedicated public servants should never be punished when Congress and the President fail to do their job and pass a spending bill,” Kildee said.

The legislation comes the month after the longest government shutdown in U.S. history ended after 35 days. During that time, 800,000 federal workers were placed on furlough while 400,000 others were required to work with no pay.

Kildee met with a group of air traffic controllers at Bishop International Airport, who were forced to work without pay during the shutdown, and other Mid-Michigan residents affected by it.

“Failing to pass a bill and forcing a government shutdown to score political points is no way to run a corner grocery store, let alone the United States government,” he said.