THURSDAY, Jan. 31 — They don't have the seniority to be in the negotiating room, but U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin, the Holly Democrat who represents Ingham County, and 20 other congressional freshmen want to put pressure on the president and congressional leaders to pass budgets without shutting down government.


Members of Congress wouldn't get paid, couldn't use their travel budgets and would need to show up for a daily quorum call if government went into a shutdown under Slotkin & Co.'s Shutdown To End All Shutdowns Act.


Also, the president would not be allowed to use federal money for executive branch bonuses, receptions, entertainment, exercise facilities and golf courses until a government shutdown was lifted.


Slotkin took credit for organizing a Capitol Hill press conference on Tuesday that included seven other members. She moderated the 20-minute event. A grand total of 10 members of Congress were quoted in the press release.


"If Congress and the president can't agree on spending, the burden shouldn't fall on federal workers and their families it should fall on leaders in Washington," she said. "As a former federal worker for 14 years, I'm proud to introduce a bill that ensures federal workers aren't held hostage by stalled negotiations, and puts real skin the game for Members of Congress and the President if they can't do their jobs."


House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has spoken positively about the concept of the bill, Slotkin said, which she said is a positive signal. The leader will be kept abreast on the legislation, she said.


"We have the right bill at the right time, right combination of people and the will to get something done," Slotkin said.


The bill comes after roughly 800,000 federal employees were left without a paycheck for 35 days amid a standoff about whether money for a southern border wall should be in a continuing budget resolution. Another shutdown could occur next month if further negotiations fall apart.


The 3 p.m. press conference got off to a tardy start when Slotkin and a few other freshmen got lost trying to find the press conference room. A tour guide helped direct them to the proper location.


In other news, Slotkin was in a position to ask questions of U.S. Navy vice admiral Michael Gilday on Tuesday about the President's decision to deploy 2,300 military personnel to the Mexican border.


Speaking at her first U.S. House Armed Services Committee, Slotkin asked if any high-ranking military officials expressed concerns about the President's order to move troops to the southern border.


Gilday also assured her that the duty of the troops was not to assist in law enforcement activities. They were deployed because of their "capacity," had the right skill set and due to their readiness.