Somebody has a great idea. In fact, it’s such a great idea that it has 0% chance of passing in Congress. On September 18, 2015 Representative Rick Nolan introduced the “No Government No Pay Act of 2015” (H.R. 3562), which would prevent all Congressmen from getting paid if and when the federal government shuts down.
Congress met the September 30th deadline for government funding with a stopgap measure funding the government through December 11, 2015; however, the possibility of a federal government shut periodically looms in Congressional struggles over Planned Parenthood, the Affordable Care Act and the like.
Nolan introduced a very similar bill during the 2013 federal government shutdown that furloughed approximately 800,000 federal workers without pay for 16 days. Nolan even “put his money where his mouth was,” donating salary to charities in his representative district during the shutdown. The 2013 version of Nolan’s bill went exactly nowhere in Congress.
Though passage of the No Government No Pay Act of 2015 is extremely remote, Nolan’s message is clear: “If hundreds of thousands of other federal employees are to go without their salaries – twisting slowly in the wind in a government shutdown – then the Congress should not be paid either.” Such a measure, though ill-fated, is near and dear to the hearts of Americans who detest government shutdowns.
There is continued disagreement about the legitimacy of forcing a federal government shutdown. Some consider it a sign of extremism to the point of abject failure. Others deem it a legitimate negotiation tactic. In either event, the latest notable issue for government shutdown is Planned Parenthood funding.
Planned Parenthood’s annual $500 million funding is used for cancer screening, birth control and related services, none of which include abortion. However, a series of videos allegedly showing Planned Parenthood’s sale of fetal tissue for profit have inflamed the ongoing debate over Planned Parenthood’s work. Three teams of forensic experts concluded that the accusatory videos were heavily doctored and manipulated by anti-abortion forces; consequently, the House Oversight Committee has subpoenaed the raw footage for analysis.
Meanwhile, Congressmen who are quite concerned with pleasing their constituencies, particularly with November primaries in the mix, are acting as though the video footage is an accurate depiction of Planned Parenthood.
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