Concerned with a possible default on U.S. debt obligations, U.S. Representative Frank A. LoBiondo (NJ-02) is cosponsoring the “Prioritize Spending Act” (H.R. 2402) which would establish a set order to which available revenues coming into the U.S. Treasury should be paid out.
“It is deeply regrettable that this legislation is required, but South Jersey seniors and active duty military who rely on the federal government for their livelihoods must be a priority should the nation default,” said LoBiondo.
Introduced by Rep. Daniel Webster (FL-08), the legislation currently has 50 cosponsors and reads as follows:
In the event that the debt of the United States Government, as defined in section 3101 of title 31, United States Code, reaches the statutory limit, amounts necessary for obligations incurred by the Government of the United States shall be made available to the following obligations before all other obligations and shall be made available as prioritized in the following order (with items listed in descending order of prioritization):
(1) Amounts necessary to carry out the authority of the Department of the Treasury provided in section 3123 of title 31, United States Code, to pay with legal tender the principal and interest on debt held by the public.
(2) Such amounts as the Secretary of Defense (and the Secretary of Homeland Security in the case of the Coast Guard) determines to be necessary to continue to provide pay and allowances (without interruption) to members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard, including reserve components thereof, who perform active service.
(3) Such amounts as the President certifies to the Congress are necessary to carry out vital national security priorities.
(4) Amounts necessary to carry out the authority of the Commissioner of Social Security to pay monthly old-age, survivors’, and disability insurance benefits under title II of the Social Security Act.
(5) Amounts necessary to make payments under the Medicare program under title XVIII of the Social Security Act.
Additionally, LoBiondo is cosponsoring the “Stop Pay for Members Act” (H.R. 2653) introduced by Representative Jim Cooper (TN-05). The legislation ensures, in the instance of a default, Members of Congress are not paid until all other government obligations are met. LoBiondo has further instructed the Chief Administrative Office (CAO) of the U.S. House of Representatives to withhold his pay until normal government operations are restored.