DesJarlais Says Preventing Future Shutdowns Act Would Penalize Bad-Faith Spending Negotiations

Monday, February 11, 2019
Congressman Scott DesJarlais, a conservative member of the House Freedom Caucus, has introduced legislation to continue federal operations at reduced spending levels in the event of lapsed appropriations. House and Senate negotiators are currently attempting to craft a Homeland Security funding bill that improves border security and avoids another a partial government shutdown on Friday. If negotiations fail, it would be the second partial shutdown in a month. 
 
Rep. DesJarlais said he supports building additional physical barriers on the U.S.-Mexico border to deter illegal immigration, drugs and gang crime.
He said his legislation would pressure negotiators to fulfill promises both parties have made for decades. “Bad deals to end shutdowns have typically resulted in even higher levels of wasteful spending, while the border problem has become worse and worse. In Washington, supporters of the failing status quo get everything they want, while in Tennessee, my constituents continue to demand safe borders and spending discipline. 
 
“The Prevent Future Shutdowns Act increases the penalty for those who resist and obstruct common-sense solutions to transnational crime, the drug epidemic, and illegal labor depressing Americans’ wages. It would force negotiators to approach these issues in good faith or face consequences.”
 
The Preventing Future Shutdowns Act (H.R. 1124) would enact automatic appropriations at reduced spending levels in the event of a lapse. To continue normal operations, national security-related departments, including the Department of Defense, Homeland Security and Veterans Affairs, would receive 100 percent of previously approved funding. Other departments would see a five percent reduction from previously enacted levels. Only discretionary funding would be affected.    
 
Social Security and other mandatory programs would remain untouched. “If the disruption were to cause real spending discipline, radical proposals such as a recent one to release foreign criminals into the U.S., would never see the light of day,” said Rep. DesJarlais, a member of the House Armed Services Committee. “There would be a penalty for bad-faith negotiations. In fact, we would achieve a desirable short-term goal, and true border security would be attainable. 
 
“I will always fight for safe and secure borders, and I will always fight for spending discipline. This bill would help to achieve both at a critical moment.”

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