During a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee markup today, U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., once again emphasized the need for Congress to work on passing legislation that would deter future government shutdowns.
Enzi’s comments came during the committee’s debate over U.S. Senator James Lankford’s, R-Okla., Government Shutdown Accountability Act, which would put restrictions on members of Congress until they pass all 12 government funding bills. This included a rigorous debate over whether to include an amendment that would withhold congressional members’ pay during that time.
“I think there is universal acceptance that we need do something about government shutdowns,” Enzi said. “We are looking at this in the Budget Committee as well as part of budget reform. One of the problems we run into is there kind of has to be a penalty to everyone, and this bill definitely has a penalty for senators and staff, who are the people who have the capability to arrive at some kind of funding solution. But there are several bills out there that might be combined with some of these ideas. We need to do something on it, and we need to do something on it fairly quickly, because we can’t afford another government shutdown.”
Ultimately the committee passed both the amendment on congressional pay and the Government Shutdown Accountability Act.
The committee also passed Enzi and Lankford’s Grant Reporting Efficiency and Agreements Transparency (GREAT) Act, which would simplify the federal government’s grant process and increase transparency to help keep track of federal dollars.