In the wake of the three-day government shutdown that ended Monday, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) announced that he is introducing a bill requiring Congress to vote on spending bills individually, instead of rushing the funding of governmental entities through all in one bill.
“I’m introducing a bill to mandate that spending go through a normal appropriations process so we vote on spending individually,” Paul tweeted Tuesday. “I call my bill the Government Shutdown Prevention Act and I’m introducing it this week in the Senate because Americans deserve real spending reform.”
The senator, who has consistently opposed to deficit spending, says his bill would prevent future government shutdowns over partisan issues, allowing spending bills to be voted on separately.
“Everyone says they hate government shutdowns, but at the same time everybody says they hate spending bills where all the spending is glommed together into one gigantic bill,” Paul said in a video.
Paul pointed out that the national debt is currently over $20 trillion, adding that the deficit for the last year was almost $800 billion and is expected to reach over $1 trillion in 2018. Paul says current spending is “broken” and “out of control,” and criticized Congress for continuing to run on a short term continuing resolution.
The senator argues that the choice is not binary, neither requiring the government to shutdown in a deadlock or continue on with outrageous deficit spending. Instead, Paul’s bill would mandate that all spending go through the normal appropriations process within the twelve different units of government, all funded individually.
Prior to and during the government shutdown, Paul voted against funding the government through a temporary continuing resolution. The senator voted against the stopgap measure Congress and the president approved Monday because he says it doesn’t address reckless spending.
“What I would propose is that we spend money at the same rate we spent it last year,” Paul said before the recent shutdown. “If you do that for five years you actually balance the budget within five years.”
Paul said Tuesday that under his bill, Congressional failure to pass the individual spending bills on time would result in an automatic one percent cut in spending overall.
“Government spending would be done right… government would not shut down ever,” Paul assured. “No games, no threats, no bluster, no theater, just Congress doing its job.”