Text: H.R.55 — 113th Congress (2013-2014)

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Introduced in House (01/03/2013)


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[Congressional Bills 113th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H.R. 55 Introduced in House (IH)]

113th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                 H. R. 55

To prioritize the payment of pay and allowances to members of the Armed 
   Forces and Federal law enforcement officers in the event the debt 
             ceiling is reached or there is a funding gap.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                            January 3, 2013

 Mr. Fitzpatrick introduced the following bill; which was referred to 
 the Committee on Ways and Means, and in addition to the Committees on 
 Transportation and Infrastructure, Armed Services, and the Judiciary, 
for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case 
for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of 
                        the committee concerned

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
To prioritize the payment of pay and allowances to members of the Armed 
   Forces and Federal law enforcement officers in the event the debt 
             ceiling is reached or there is a funding gap.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Strengthening Homeland Security, 
Intelligence, and Essential Law Enforcement Departments Act of 2013'' 
or the ``SHIELD Act of 2013''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    Congress finds the following:
            (1) The United States Armed Forces represent the finest 
        fighting force in the world.
            (2) An interruption in compensation could affect morale and 
        cause hardship which would threaten United States security and 
        the safety of our troops.
            (3) It is a vital national interest that the United States 
        Armed Forces, including reserve components, can operate with 
        the assurance that they will continue to receive pay and 
        allowances for their service if a funding gap occurs.
            (4) Federal law enforcement officers are highly trained and 
        dedicated men and women, committed to protecting liberty, 
        public safety, and the security of our Nation from both foreign 
        and domestic threats.
            (5) They have no equal in the private sector, and perform a 
        role that is both unique and vital to the continuing operation 
        of the Federal Government and commerce during times of crisis.
            (6) Each and every day, Federal law enforcement officers 
        are engaged around the clock in activities that include, but 
        are not limited to, dignitary protection, criminal 
        investigation, homeland security, border security, intelligence 
        gathering, and fighting waste, fraud and abuse.
            (7) These critical Government functions cannot be 
        interrupted due to an absence of Congressional appropriations 
        or during periods of a Government shutdown, nor can we expect 
        that the threats posed by violent criminals, terrorists and 
        America's enemies will lessen during such periods of fiscal 
        uncertainty.

SEC. 3. PRIORITY PAYMENTS IF THE DEBT CEILING IS REACHED FOR DEFENSE 
              AND FEDERAL LAW ENFORCEMENT.

    In the event that the total public debt reaches the public debt 
limit, as established under section 3101 of title 31, United States 
Code, the following payments on obligations incurred by the Government 
of the United States shall be made:
            (1) The pay and allowances of members of the Army, Navy, 
        Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard, including reserve 
        components thereof, who perform active service.
            (2) The pay and allowances of critical law enforcement 
        officers who are employed by Federal agencies.

SEC. 4. EMERGENCY APPROPRIATIONS OF FUNDS FOR DEFENSE AND FEDERAL LAW 
              ENFORCEMENT DURING A FUNDING GAP.

    (a) Appropriation of Funds for Military Pay and Allowances.--During 
a period of lapsed appropriations for the Armed Forces, the Secretary 
of the Treasury shall make available to the Secretary of Defense (and 
the Secretary of Homeland Security in the case of the Coast Guard), out 
of any amounts in the general fund of the Treasury not otherwise 
appropriated, 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 during the period of lapsed appropriations.
    (b) Appropriation of Funds for Federal Law Enforcement Officer Pay 
and Allowances.--During a period of lapsed appropriations for a federal 
agency that employs critical law enforcement officers, the Secretary of 
the Treasury shall make available to the head of such agency, out of 
any amounts in the general fund of the Treasury not otherwise 
appropriated, such amounts as the heads of such agencies determine to 
be necessary to continue to provide pay and allowances (without 
interruption) to such critical law enforcement officers during the 
period of lapsed appropriations.

SEC. 5. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act:
            (1) Critical law enforcement officer.--The term ``critical 
        law enforcement officer'' means an employee--
                    (A) who has statutory authority to make arrests or 
                apprehensions;
                    (B) who is authorized by the agency of the employee 
                to carry firearms; and
                    (C) whose duties include performing emergency work 
                involving the safety of human life or the protection of 
                property.
            (2) Period of lapsed appropriations.--The term ``period of 
        lapsed appropriations'' means any period during which 
        appropriations are not available due to the absence of the 
        timely enactment of any Act or joint resolution (including any 
        Act or joint resolution making continuing appropriations) 
        appropriating funds for the payment of the pay and allowances.
            (3) Total public debt.--The term ``total public debt'' has 
        the meaning given such term in section 3130 of title 31, United 
        States Code.
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