Senator Mark Warner's Stop STUPIDITY Act would protect federal employees' pay during shutdowns

That no longer includes the UK as recent events have amply demonstrated.

But as a general principle, it does seem odd to outsiders that someone deliberately set up a system that is designed to maximise the chances of this happening.

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I can’t imagine any SCOTUS reading that section so broadly. It seems obvious that an appropriations bill needs to be specific and explicit. Now consider the Fedaralist Society originalists dominating the current court. No way.

Hypothetical: We actually allocate $5B for the damned wall this year. And the next year. And the next… At some point the wall is finished, but we’re in a budgetary stalemate. Keep allocating $5B/year for a completed project?

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That doesn’t seem right to me. First, the appropriations clause is there to limit the power of the executive, not to limit the power of congress. Second, the appropriations clause specifically limits the duration of appropriations for the army but does not mention the duration for any other case. Third, “the same thing as last year” is a specific amount, duration and object.

I see there is some question about the constitutionality of it, but I think if it’s unconstitutional it can probably be reworded to have the same effect while being within the constitution.

But given that the US supreme court is just a bunch of partisan hacks, in reality it’s constitutional if Anne Coulter says it is. It doesn’t matter what it says in the actual document.


I do not know whether this is the correct technical term in this context, and I do not care whether you can make an acronym out of it, but how about Warner introduces a “Let’s impeach the stupid motherfucker” act, bill or whatever the proper heading is.

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Mr. Warner’s district is in Northern Va

Technically, his district is the whole state of Virginia - not just NoVA. As one of his constituents, I’m not happy with a lot he’s done and am downright pissed at some things he’s done, but I kinda like this. I don’t think it stands a snowball’s chance in hell, though.


Agreed. (He could have done this a long time ago.)


DC and environs are home base of the TLAs.*

*Three Letter Acronyms

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Plus some extra characters. Why is that a rule?

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I disagree that the fix is to limit the effects of the shutdown of government. If it’s not painful to shutdown the government, there’s a whole passel of limited-government Republicans who would love nothing more than to just leave the government in shutdown in perpetuity.
I suggest that the real fix is to make a shutdown the equivalent of a thermo-nuclear bomb - that’s too awful to contemplate using. When the government shuts down, it shuts down completely. Everyone locks the doors on the way out and goes home. EVERYONE. No “essential” employees to guard our real-life nuclear arsenal, or deliver mail, or any other damn thing. Then the government wouldn’t shut down, because both sides would be forced to compromise.

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Just like if both people have guns then no one will pull theirs out because they’ll worry about being shot.

You know that Trump didn’t (doesn’t?) understand why the US doesn’t just use nuclear weapons, right? I’m pretty sure there would still be a shutdown.


Except that’s not what this plan or the commenters above are implying. Nobody is saying “Shut it down, but don’t hurt anyone”. The plan, and commenters are all saying “Make it impossible to shut it down by not agreeing”. It sounds subtle, but the distinction is important.

Today - We can’t agree, so inaction will produce a shutdown. (Which, as you pointed out, is what some want.)

Goal - We can’t agree, so inaction will continue the “as-is” current situation.

In both scenarios, nobody is able to agree and take an action to fund the government with a new budget plan. Today, the inaction produces an outcome that causes great disruption as waste. The proposal is that inaction should cause it to coast on auto pilot with no changes.

Remember, “inacation”, “no decision”, “doing nothing” are all really still decisions. They’re decisions to accept the consequences that not having a new plan produces.

Having a thermo-nuclear option to try and force an action is just a recipe for having the thermo-nuclear option happen. Better to stay status-quo instead.


But that would place the reins of power on the ‘fickle, poorly-educated populace’, instead of those with the training and experience (and corruption) to wield power for the betterment of all (who can out-bid the others).

“VELL. Ve ken’t heff dot .”

As opposed to our ‘fickle and poorly-educated elected officials’?

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Off the top of my head this doesn’t seem like a bad thing but what do you want to bet this simple concept is multiple pages of densely typed lawyer-ese with a bunch of hidden and totally unrelated clauses.

I’m guessing this is mostly just an attention-getting scheme.

Nobody would let Trump let a shutdown happen.

If the government continues with as-is funding, it takes away some of the incentive that both sides have to come to a compromise solution. It allows them to just kick the can down the road, instead.
Only anarchists would allow the government to shutdown if it truly meant that everything was shut down.
Of course, they’d still be able to just enact funding at the as-is levels if no other compromise can be reached.

Except that somebody would, because there are some people (like our current president, who doesn’t give a shit if kids go hungry, people lose their homes, can’t get access to the services they NEED to live - because he has no empathy which I’d guess is true of many other politicians as well) who just want to watch the world burn… and the effect on people’s lives would be just as detrimental.

Let’s not do this again, and make some policy against it instead. this is not some game, it’s real life. People are suffering because of what this administration and our legislators are failing to do.


Yes it would. It might even make passing any change harder. If what you want is exactly what you have, not compromising on anything would let you keep it.

I can definitely see that it’s not some silver bullet solution. It’s just that it would eliminate the uncertainty and impact to day to day workers caused by a shutdown. People that directly harmed by a shutdown, yet have no control.

That uncertainty also makes it hard to hire skilled workers. Let’s say the FDA wants to hire physician scientists to review drug studies. They need to compete with what those doctors can make in the private sector. One way they do this is with non monetary benefits. Stable work hours, no on-call, no dealing with medical billing processes, telework. Things that are not cash, since there’s no way for them to compete with private practice. Now, throw all those out the window and replace it with “congress can’t pass a budget, so we’re not going to pay you for a month”, to bad that you have plans around a consistent paycheck, mortgage, cost of living. Just suck it up and float the federal government a free loan for a month. It’s not exactly a huge draw to get employees.

The budget Sequester was supposed to be so bad that nobody would ever let it happen when it was passed. They would always pass something to prevent an impact. Yet, it’s happen many many times anyway.

Anything that’s designed to pressure someone into an action, must be assumed that it will fail and occur.

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You have no evidence for that statement, and we have plenty of evidence to suggest that the amount he cares about the real world implications for a shutdown is zero. Everyone keeps saying the “adults” in the room will temper him, and that has not happened once yet. They are letting him wreck as much as he can because they don’t want a functioning government to exist (except for when it lines their pockets). They want to privatize as much as possible, consequences be damned. That’s their policy position.

Anarchists would at least replace it with community services of some variety… Randians would simply liquidate and sell it off to their friends, and that’s who is in charge of the modern GOP


Isn’t this Stop STUPIDITY Act the one where it starts off as as-is funding, but then slowly decreases the funding as the shutdowns goes on? If so, that just dampens the initial impact of a shutdown, letting everyone get used to the idea that government is now smaller (and less effective) before the next funding level decrease is enacted. It seems to me that this would put us into the position of the frog who doesn’t realize the pot is boiling.

As for the so-called-adults in the room letting the thermo-nuclear shutdown happen (or being unable to dissuade Trump from letting it happen), I don’t think that’s true. I think it would be such a complete catastrophe that it would be a permanent stain on the careers of anyone involved.

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