Blue Dogs Endorse Funding Deadline Enforcement Act

Feb 3, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON—Today, the fiscally-responsible Blue Dog Coalition announced its endorsement of H.R. 5226, Funding Deadline Enforcement Act, which would force Congress to pass all appropriations bills on time instead of relying on temporary Continuing Resolutions (CRs). Specifically, the bill would prevent House and Senate members from using official Congressional funds to travel if they miss the annual October 1 deadline to send all appropriations bills to the President’s desk for a signature. Instead, Congress would be forced to remain in session until they reach a new, full-year funding agreement for the fiscal year in question.

 

Similar to the Blue Dog-backed No Budget, No Pay Act, the Funding Deadline Enforcement Act would provide another mechanism to punish Congress should members of one or both chambers fail to do their job on time. The legislation was introduced in the House by Blue Dog member, Rep. Joe Cunningham (SC-01).

 

The Constitution grants Congress the power of the purse and endows Congress with the sole responsibility to raise revenue and appropriate money to fund the federal government. In recent years, Congress has abdicated that duty and relied on CRs, which freeze federal spending at the previous year’s levels and are only intended to prevent an even worse result, a government shutdown. Since Fiscal Year 1997, an average of at least five CRs have been signed into law each fiscal year before the appropriations process was completed for that year.

 

At a time when Congress can barely keep the lights on—relying on short-term funding extensions and looming government shutdowns—it’s impossible to prioritize the smart, responsible budgeting necessary to get our skyrocketing debt under control,” said Rep. Joe Cunningham (SC-01), a member of the Blue Dog Coalition and lead sponsor of the Funding Deadline Enforcement Act. “Ending the practice of continuing resolutions is necessary to ensure a fiscally responsible federal budget and prevent our armed forces and veterans from being harmed by budget uncertainty. This commonsense legislation would prevent Congress from leaving before the job is done and delivers on the promise we made to get our fiscal house in order.”

 

“As a mayor, I passed a balanced budget each year with bipartisan support,” said Rep. Ben McAdams (UT-04), Co-Chair of the Blue Dog Task Force on Fiscal Responsibility & Government Reform. “The choices leading up to it were sometimes difficult, but that’s part of the job of a public servant in charge of spending taxpayer dollars. This measure helps enforce that we complete and pass our funding bills by the October 1st deadline, as required.”

 

“Congress must pass its appropriations bills on time and should face real consequences if we are not able to fulfill our constitutional duty to fund the government in the normal course,” said Rep. Ed Case (HI-01), Co-Chair of the Blue Dog Task Force on Fiscal Responsibility & Government Reform. “A government funded on endless unpredictable continuing resolutions negatively impacts critical programs such as national defense, creates economic and financial uncertainty, and feeds still further complacency and avoidance in making the hard budgetary and appropriations decisions required. Our Funding Deadline Enforcement Act is a real-world response to these concerns.”

 

Additional Details on the Funding Deadline Enforcement Act:

 

  • Members of Congress would be prohibited from using official funds to travel except to the District of Columbia or in the cases of emergency;

 

  • The House would be prohibited from adjourning for a period of longer than 12 hours;

 

  • The House would be required to conduct at least one recorded vote each day, ensuring Member attendance.

 

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