Hours after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was spotted Friday evening at the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Washington, D.C., hightailing it out-of-town, one Republican congresswoman announced that she’s introduced a bill to prevent similar escapes from occurring in the future.
“I do have a bill … it is no budget, no recess, and it would force members of Congress to stay in Washington, D.C., until we have a budget done and until we have those appropriations bills done,” Sen. Joni Ernst said Saturday morning on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends.”
“And if that weren’t so [if Congress failed to get the budget done], there would be quorum calls requiring our members to be on the floor twice a day til we work through the impasse.”
Ernst made these remarks amid the ongoing government shutdown. Hundreds of thousands of federal workers remained furloughed because of a stubborn refusal by intransigent Democrats to negotiate with President Donald Trump over the construction of a wall along the southern U.S. border.
Later Saturday afternoon the president, in fact, delivered a speech in which he offered Democrats a generous compromise in which they’d receive three years of protection for DACA and TPS recipients in addition to $800 in funding for humanitarian assistance, all in exchange for $5.7 billion for the wall.
Pelosi and her congressional peers prematurely rejected the deal. But if she’d accepted the deal, it wouldn’t have mattered because she’s not even in town at the moment:
— Garrett Haake (@GarrettHaake) January 18, 2019
She reportedly flew commercial, by the way. That being said, the fact that congressional leaders can just flee the scene during a government crisis simply doesn’t sit well with Ernst.
“Hardworking Iowans, and Americans across the country are sick and tired of government shutdowns, continuing resolutions and massive omnibus spending bills,” the Iowa senator said in a statement last Thursday, the day that she unveiled her bill to the public.
“This dysfunctional cycle is not the way our government was designed to function or should function. If we fail to pass a budget and spending bills, we should stay in town and work together until we get the job done.”
Today, with @SenatorLankford and @sendavidperdue, I introduced the No Budget, No Recess Act. This bill prohibits Congress from leaving Washington if we fail to pass a budget and spending bills on time. https://t.co/WEr10iqa7j
— Joni Ernst (@SenJoniErnst) January 17, 2019
Getting the job done at this point would entail sitting down to work out a compromise. The president, who remained busy working at the White House through Christmas and the New Year, has done his part. As has Ernst, who’s indicated she supports his grand compromise.
“I agree with President Trump and many of my colleagues that securing our southern border is a key part of a system to discourage illegal immigration and curb human trafficking and the transport of illegal weapons and drugs – in addition to the ability of gangs and terrorists to exploit the holes in our system,” she said in a statement.
“We have an opportunity to pass a bipartisan immigration bill. The deal President Trump has put on the table is one that both Democrats and Republicans can support. A bipartisan plan that includes a secure border will not only reopen the government, but also put the wellbeing of American citizens first.”
A bipartisan plan that includes a secure border will not only reopen the government, but also put the wellbeing of American citizens first. Read my full statement on @realDonaldTrump’s proposed compromise to end the partial gov’t shutdown: https://t.co/8Tt5mBJVWN
— Joni Ernst (@SenJoniErnst) January 19, 2019
The question now remains when will Pelosi and her peers do their part?
Since the answer is “not this weekend” (if ever), given as she’s already galloped out-of-town, some on social media think that perhaps Ernst’s new bill should be called the “Pelosi rule.”
You’re grounded until you do your homework!https://t.co/uxLh8oojgm
— Rob (@75otingocni) January 19, 2019
@seanhannity The social media is censoring Joni Ernst “Pelosi Rule ” bill, can not find it anywhere. Her bill as well as keeping Congress in session and all Congress in DC must include no pay for Congress and aids till government reopens. Congress do your job, you work for us.
— Forgotten no more (@lvchevyguy) January 20, 2019
“Pelosi Rule” – Sen. Joni Ernst proposes legislation to keep lawmakers in DC during shutdowns
It’s about time. https://t.co/G8WCqnvWjC
— Kepano47 #MAGAveteran (@kepano47) January 19, 2019
Social media users were likewise critical of Pelosi for fleeing the scene like a coward:
— mark rector #NFB (@markrector721) January 20, 2019
For someone who wanted to be the Speaker of the House so desperately, Pelosi just can’t wait to flee DC & toss aside the responsibilities of her office.
The Daily Caller: Nancy Pelosi Is Reportedly Leaving DC A Day After Trump Canceled Her Trip Overseas. https://t.co/QjC7oF3tEK
— Michael A. Michelin (@M_A_Michelin) January 19, 2019
#NancyPelosi, Where are you going? You’re suppose to be here negotiating. I guess Americans are not important to you. Nancy Pelosi Is Reportedly Leaving DC A Day After Trump Canceled Her Trip Overseas – The Daily Caller https://t.co/8RjJYjZ24m
— ❌S⬆️4✝️❌ (@Moedex1) January 20, 2019
Pelosi, by her own actions, is showing she is a traitor to the American people! https://t.co/pXcNzCKtFO
— Joanne S Parrish (@parrishpoint_s) January 19, 2019