Republican Lawmakers Introduce Bill to Prevent Government Shutdowns
WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Wednesday, a group of Republican House lawmakers introduced a bill authored by Rep. Lloyd Smucker (R-Pa.) to prevent government shutdowns and end the broken budget process in Congress.
The Government Shutdown Prevention Act, sponsored by Reps. Smucker, John Curtis (R-Ut.), Rodney Davis (R-Ill.), Bob Gibbs (R-Oh.), Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), Fred Upton (R-Mich.), aims to end political gameplaying and fix Congress’ dysfunctional budget process. Since 2013, the federal government has shut down on four separate occasions. Since Dec. 22, the federal government has been shut down due to an impasse over spending. As of Jan. 16, it is the longest federal shutdown in history.
If passed, the legislation would automatically continue government funding through a continuing resolution. The bill would implement a five percent spending penalty on the day the continuing resolution begins.
Federal spending would be reduced by two percent 60 days after the first day of the fiscal year and by an additional two percent each subsequent 60-day period. Smucker introduced similar legislation to prevent federal shutdowns during the 115th Congress.
“Congress represents millions of Americans with different backgrounds, priorities, ideas and goals for our country,” Smucker said. “We may not always agree on how to fix our problems. As we try to find solutions to those problems, we expect debates and negotiations. But when it comes to keeping the federal government open, there should be no debate. American taxpayers and federal workers shouldn’t be held hostage because Congress can’t pass bills normally.”
“Since coming to Congress, I have consistently advocated for a better budgeting process. Members of Congress should be accountable to fund the federal government responsibly and on-time,” said Rep. Curtis. “Today, I am pleased to join my colleagues in introducing this common-sense bill, which mirrors Utah’s process, to permanently end government shutdowns for good.”
“Government shutdowns can be avoided if both parties work together, but that has happened less and less over the last few years,” said Rep. Davis. “This bill incentivizes both sides to work together while keeping the government open and ensures our federal workers across the country are not missing a paycheck.”
“Throughout my time in Congress, I have been a consistent vote to keep the government open,” Rep. Stefanik said. “My district is home to many federal workers who depend on Congress to ensure they have a stable paycheck and we have let them down time and time again. This bill is a significant step to end the partisan games that are played at the expense of North Country workers. I’m proud to co-lead this vital and long-overdue bill.”
“It is the basic duty of Congress to ensure that government services remain uninterrupted for millions of Americans,’ said Rep. Upton. “This legislation prevents federal agencies from being unnecessarily shuttered by providing automatically continued funding for any federal appropriation that is not completed before the end of fiscal year. It is the least we can do.”
Smucker has repeatedly called to reform Congress’ broken budget process.
“Americans send us to the halls of Congress to legislate effectively and make their voices heard,” Smucker said. “It is clear the status quo of our broken budget process is failing the American people. This bill is an important step in the right direction. I urge my colleagues from both sides of the aisle to support it.”