SHIELD ACT: Legislation introduced to shield military and law enforcement community during a budget impasse
Bucks County Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA8) and Congresswoman Jacky Rosen (D-NV3) have introduced the Strengthening Homeland Security, Intelligence and Essential Law Enforcement Departments (SHIELD) Act [H.R. 1536], legislation which would prioritize pay for members of the military and law enforcement community in the event of a budget impasse.
“Our nation’s service men and women, and members of the law enforcement community, put their lives on the line in protection of our nation. The last thing they should have to worry about is receiving a paycheck because of budget battles in Washington,” said Fitzpatrick. “I’m proud to introduce the bipartisan SHIELD Act to ensure our commitment to those who serve us, even in times of financial uncertainty.”
“Day in and day out our men and women in uniform risk their lives so that our families can live in a world free from harm. We have a moral obligation to ensure that our armed forces and federal law enforcement receive the support and care they deserve for their sacrifice,” said Rosen. “It is incredibly important that we put party politics aside especially when it involves supporting our armed forces who shouldn’t have to go without pay because Congress can’t agree on passing a budget. That’s why I am happy to work across the aisle by introducing the bipartisan SHIELD Act because coming together as Americans to keep our homeland safe is simply the right thing to do. ”
The bipartisan legislation would ensure compensation for service members and federal law enforcement personnel in the event of an interruption of Congressionally-appropriated funds, during periods of a government shutdown or in the event of reaching the debt ceiling by authorizing the Treasury to make available necessary amounts to continue such pay and allowances.
The bill is endorsed by the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA).
“FLEOA commends Congressman Fitzpatrick for the reintroduction of the SHIELD Act,” stated FLEOA President Jon Adler. “This critically important legislation will ensure that federal law enforcement continues to be funded and able to protect our homeland during any lapse in government funding.”
In a letter to the Speaker Paul Ryan, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin informed the Congress that the United States has already reached its statutory debt limit.
“The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 suspended the statutory debt limit until March 15, 2017. Beginning on Thursday, March 16, 2017, the outstanding debt of the United States will be at the statutory limit. At that time, Treasury anticipates that it will need to start taking certain extraordinary measures in order to temporarily prevent the United States from defaulting on its obligations,” said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.