WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), chairman of the Federal Spending Oversight and Emergency Management Subcommittee for the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC), held a hearing entitled, “Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Ways of Funding Government.”
The subcommittee explored the impact on taxpayers of the spending uncertainty politicians create when they repeatedly cause shutdown crises and fund government through Continuing Resolutions and enormous omnibus spending bills. In addition to the costs generated through such tactics, ignoring the regular appropriations process restricts Congress’ ability to conduct proper oversight of government spending and eliminate wasteful spending by federal agencies.
“Missing appropriation deadlines has consequences. It causes uncertainty in agencies and delays plans, which may increase costs to the taxpayer,” Chairman Paul noted during his opening statement.
“I am grateful to the Subcommittee for holding this hearing to call attention to the total breakdown of federal budgetary policy-making,” Dr. Alice Rivlin, Senior Fellow in Economics Studies for The Brookings Institution and former OMB Director, said in her testimony. “I believe this breakdown is a serious threat to our democracy and to America’s future prosperity.”
During the hearing, Chairman Paul emphasized his Government Shutdown Prevention Act (S. 2339), a solution he introduced in January to incentivize Congress to properly consider and debate spending legislation.
Instead of government shutting down operations over stalled funding in the future, the bill would 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 (October 1). Every 90 days thereafter, funding would be reduced by another one percent if an agreement is still not enacted.
Chairman Paul’s Government Shutdown Prevention Act is available HERE.