Sen. Warner introduces 'Stop STUPIDITY Act'

Published: Jan. 22, 2019 at 3:42 PM EST
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As the partial government shutdown continued through its thirty-second day on Tuesday, Senator Mark Warner (D-Va.) introduced a bill that would keep the government running during any future lapse of funding, but cut pay for lawmakers.

Warner, whose constituents

, titled his legislation the Stop STUPIDITY (Shutdowns Transferring Unnecessary Pain and Inflicting Damage In The Coming Years) Act.

“The Stop STUPIDITY Act takes the aggressive but necessary step of forcing the President and Congress to do the jobs they were elected to do,” said Sen. Warner. “It is disturbing that the daily lives of hundreds of thousands of workers are at the mercy of dysfunction in Washington. Workers, business owners and tax payers are currently paying the price of D.C. gridlock and my legislation will put an end to that.”

You can find the full bill

. It sets up a system to automatically renew government funding at the same levels as the previous fiscal year, with adjustments for inflation, unless legislators pass an appropriations bill setting the amounts differently.

It would fund all aspects of the government except for the legislative branch and the Executive Office of the President, which Warner says would force "Congress and the White House to come to the negotiating table without putting at risk the economy or hurting the American public."

In response, Garren Shipley, the Virginia Communications Director for the Republican National Committee, released the following statement: “There’s a proposal pending before the Senate that will open the government immediately — the one from President Trump. If Senator Warner had put half as much time into actually negotiating as he did coming up with that acronym, Federal workers would have never missed a paycheck."

Warner's bill is unlikely to be brought to the Senate floor for discussion with a Republican majority under Sen. Mitch McConnell's leadership, much less to be passed into law. Meanwhile, Senate Republicans are pressing ahead with a plan to reopen the government and finance President Donald Trump's long-stalled wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, though Democrats say the legislation offers inadequate protections for "Dreamer" immigrants and Trump should reopen the government before negotiations can start.

Trump is offering three years of protection against deportation for immigrants brought to the country illegally as children. He had tried to end the Obama-era program in 2017, though the issue remains before the courts.

As drafted, the bill is a nonstarter with Democrats, but McConnell appears hopeful that it could be a starting point for negotiations since it embraces immigration concepts backed by Democrats. McConnell has been adamant that he'll only take up legislation that Trump will sign.

Republicans hold a 53-47 majority in the chamber but need Democrats to reach the usual 60-vote threshold for bills to advance. No Democrat has publicly expressed support for the proposal Trump announced over the weekend.

On Tuesday, Trump tweeted that Democrats are playing "political games" and repeated his claims that the wall is a solution to drugs and crime — although the Drug Enforcement Administration says only a small percentage of drugs comes into the country between ports of entry.

"Without a Wall our Country can never have Border or National Security," Trump tweeted. "With a powerful Wall or Steel Barrier, Crime Rates (and Drugs) will go substantially down all over the U.S. The Dems know this but want to play political games. Must finally be done correctly. No Cave!"

The impact of the government's longest-ever shutdown continues to ripple across the nation. The longest previous shutdown was 21 days in 1995-96, when Bill Clinton was president.

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