U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin, D-Holly, led a group of more than 20 freshman lawmakers on Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019, to introduce the Shutdown to End All Shutdowns (SEAS) Act, a bill aimed at protecting federal employees by transferring the financial hardship of shutdowns to the executive branch and members of Congress.
In addition to shifting the hardship caused by a federal government shutdown to those responsible for it, the SEAS Act would allow government to continue operating under an automatic continuing resolution for as long as Congress and the President fail to agree on an appropriations measure.
“If Congress and the president can’t agree on spending, the burden shouldn’t fall on federal workers and their families, it should fall on leaders in Washington,” Slotkin said. “As a former federal worker for 14 years, I’m proud to be introducing a bill that ensures federal workers aren’t held hostage by stalled negotiations, and puts real skin in the game for Members of Congress and the President if they can’t do their jobs.”
Specifically, the SEAS Act would prohibit the use of federal funds for legislative travel, and require daily quorum calls for the duration of a federal government shutdown. It would also suspend legislative pay and not hold it in escrow, as it is under current law.
The SEAS Act hits the president with equally stiff penalties, prohibiting the use of federal funds for executive branch and cabinet, except by waiver in cases of national security, natural disaster or national emergency. Under the new law, the use of federal funds would also be prohibited for executive branch bonuses, receptions, entertainment, exercise facilities and golf courses during a shutdown.