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The Paul Prevention Act

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Senator Rand Paul’s office has announced, “There doesn’t need to be a shutdown in order for us to address the spending problem.”  In a press release dated Thursday the 7th, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul announced the “Government Shutdown Prevention Act of 2011.” The bill’s intended purpose is to make sure that essential government services continue in the absence of the passage of a spending bill. According to the release, “The bill is intended as a permanent rule to follow for the current and all future cases where Congress does not enact a budget or continuing resolution.”Sen. Rand Paul (R, KY)
Senator Paul says, “In my bill, we keep obligations made to our military personnel, seniors, children, and federal workers maintain an adequate level of pay, but Members of Congress and the President do not get paid unless they actually work out a resolution.”

Here are some key provisions of Senator Paul’s Shutdown Prevention Act: “The Treasury is directed to fully pay the debt of the United States and all of its prior obligations in full.” Take a look at the debt of the United States and the first thing you will notice is that it is not a number, it is a function. The Treasury would have to have more than $55T cash on hand, but then it is the US Treasury, it can always print more money.

Medicare and Medicaid continue to pay in full. Emergency war funding is continued at current levels and the Department of Defense will “send out paychecks to all military personnel at the full level of pay.” Civilian DoD employees, however, only get “the same 75 percent rate of other federal employees,” who also take a 25% hit. At least they all will have jobs to report to, under the Paul Plan.

Meanwhile, “Congress and the White House may only operate at 50 percent of its previously appropriated levels for the time worked under these provisions.” The White House presumably refers to the Executive Branch of government. But that is not all, “Congressmen, Senators, and the President do not receive a salary during the emergency.”

Other than the bit about the Treasury paying the US debt, it’s so far so good. But the Paul Shutdown Prevention Act starts to get dicey towards the end.

“The Executive Branch is directed to provide no funding for any program created by Obamacare.” Since Senator Paul is new to his job in the Senate, he may be unaware that the Executive Branch does not fund anything. That is why under his proposed bill the Executive Branch being “directed to expend no federal funds to provide abortion services, or to agencies who provide abortion services” is not doable.

Senator Paul’s sincerity comes into question if he honestly thinks he has come up with something that breaches the present legislative gap congress suffers. Such a bill is poorly thought out, if we are to believe the press release on his website. It has no chance for passage given the Democratic majority in the Senate and is at best a rhetorical device to get attention. I would expect something like this from Sarah Palin, but not from an actual elected member of the Senate.

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About Tommy Mack

Tommy Mack began his career in broadcasting and is a US Army graduate of the Defense Information School. He worked in Army Public and Command Information and earned a BS in Liberal Studies from the State University of New York, Albany. A marketing communications executive, Tommy became a business management consultant for a major international consulting company and its affiliates before establishing Tommy Mack Organization, a business consulting practice specializing in organization and communications management. A professional writer and blogger, he writes about politics, business, and culture.
  • Doc Milton sounds more like the biblical figure, Nimrod.


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  • Probably not referring to the Biblical figure – the great-grandson of Noah. More than likely in the Bugs Bunny sense, when the wily wabbit referred to dithering hunter Elmer Fudd, whom Bugs called a “poor little Nimrod.”


  • zingzing

    “Isn’t it already?”


  • Clavos

    ((and it’ll leave the republican party full of crazed tea party nimrods.)

    Isn’t it already?

  • zingzing

    how about the most senior (in terms of experience, not age,) member from each side of the aisle is executed at the top of every hour until the budget is settled? not only will that clear out some of the dust, it’ll make cspan the best thing on television. (and it’ll leave the republican party full of crazed tea party nimrods.)

  • troll

    …how ’bout in the event of shut-down each elected federal official is expected to sacrifice two joints of his non-dominant index finger

    think that’ud be effective?

    ..we at Acme Ceremonial Knives would certainly consider responding to RFPs

  • Clavos

    Well, they’re republicans…

  • Boeke

    I’m becoming very resentful that the reps are holding the countrys budget hostage in order to push policies (NPR, Planned Parenthood, etc.) to suck up to their tea party maniacs. It screams of blatant partisanship, and along with all the other purely partisan moves of the GOP in the last few years, represents a deterioration of quality and good citizenship in the republicans.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Oh – and Dem. Representative James Moran also introduced a bill to the House back in February prohibiting Congressional pay during a government shutdown. Guess how far that one got….

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Actually, GOP Rep. Steve Womack introduced a bill requiring that Congress wouldn’t get paid during a government shutdown…but his bill would also enact $61B in cuts including most of the draconian cuts that the Republicans want – Planned Parenthood, NPR, Head Start, environmental protection laws, the whole GOP wish list – and so it stood no chance of getting by the Dem-controlled Senate.

    Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer, on the other hand, introduced a bill that cut off Congressional pay during a shutdown and also any retroactive payments to Congress once a budget deal was reached. This bill contained NO such controversial riders as did the Womack bill…and guess what? The House ignored it.

    Just some food for thought….