When one compares Pennsylvania’s budgetary performance to that of Congress, ours doesn’t look so bad. Records show Congress hasn’t passed a budget on time in the past 20 years. In addition, it has been too many years since Congress passed the 12 appropriations bills needed to fund  federal agencies. Instead they resort to short-term continuing resolutions.

Early in January, Congressman Lloyd Smucker introduced the Government Shutdown Prevention Act. This would provide an automatic continuing resolution for any appropriation bill not completed by the end of the fiscal year. If the budget is not complete within 120 days after approval of the continuing resolution, funding levels would be reduced by 1 percent, with additional 1 percent reductions to occur each subsequent 90 days until final approval.

In addition, Smucker has co-sponsored three bills dealing with this long-standing problem:

1. The No Budget No Pay Act (HR 1779) would withhold the pay of members of Congress after Oct. 1 unless Congress used regular order to pass a budget resolution and appropriations bills. Smucker said, “Members of Congress should be held to the same standards as hardworking Americans. If you don’t do your job, you don’t get paid.”

2. The Hold Congress Accountable Act (HR 1794) would reduce the annual salary of each member of Congress by one day’s pay for each day of a government shutdown.

3. The Biennial Budgeting and Enhanced Oversight Act (HR 1065)  would reform the budgeting and appropriations process by extending it from one to two years. The process would take place in odd-numbered years when no federal elections occur.

It is obvious that Smucker’s years of business success plus his time as our state senator have qualified him to perform effectively in Congress and to have earned the respect of his colleagues.

Frank C. Fryburg

Manheim Township

What to Read Next