Congressman Max Miller Introduces Legislation to Halt Members of Congress’ Campaign Activity During Government Shutdowns

Sep 28, 2023

WASHINGTON D.C– Today, Congressman Max Miller (OH-07) introduced the No Work, No Play Act of 2023, comprehensive legislation that would restrict Members of Congress from campaigning for office or receiving pay when they fail to meet their constitutional duty to fund the federal government. 

“Congress has the sole responsibility to raise revenue and appropriate money to fund the federal government. When the government shuts down, our troops are not paid and important services can be even more delayed,” said Congressman Miller. “It’s simple: if our troops are not paid and the government is not able to deliver all the services taxpayers paid for, then members of Congress should not be able to do anything other than their job to find a solution. The American people deserve a government that is accountable, and when Congress cannot do its job, it shouldn’t stand to benefit.”

Specifically, the No Work, No Play Act of 2023 would:

  • Stop members of Congress from being paid during a government shutdown;
  • Prohibit members of Congress from soliciting donations for federal election campaign accounts during a government shutdown;
  • Prohibit members of Congress from making an expenditure from an authorized committee of a candidate during a government shutdown; and
  • Restrict members of Congress from taking advantage of Official Travel, with the sole exception of traveling from their home districts to Washington, DC. 

A shutdown happens when Congress fails to pass some type of funding legislation that is signed into law by the president. The normal process requires passage of 12 different spending bills to fund agencies across the government, but the process is time-consuming. Congress often resorts to passing a temporary extension, called a continuing resolution or CR, to allow the government to keep operating.

When no funding legislation is enacted, federal agencies must stop all non-essential work and will not pay federal workers, including the military and Customs and Border Protection officers, as long as the shutdown lasts.

Although employees deemed essential such as air traffic controllers and law enforcement officers still must report to work, other federal employees are furloughed. Under a 2019 law, those same workers are slated to receive backpay once the funding impasse is resolved, meaning any shutdown will cost taxpayers billions of unnecessary dollars. 

The text of the bill is available here.


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