Legislation calls for end of government shutdowns
WASHINGTON — A bipartisan House resolution is calling on Congress to end future government shutdowns.
Introduced by Reps Paul Mitchell (R-Dryden) and Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), the resolution calls on Congress to prevent any future lapse in appropriations, and to permanently end government shutdowns.
“One of Congress’ most fundamental duties is to fund the government and keep the lights on,” Mitchell said in a statement. “Millions of Americans rely every day on critical government services operating effectively, and as we have seen recently, when the appropriations process cannot be completed on time, government employees, their families, the economy, and our nation as a whole suffer.”
“As I said many times during the previous shutdown — these situations can be avoided if all involved parties negotiate in good faith and find a compromise,” he added. “I am pleased to introduce this legislation which reinforces Congress’ commitment to preventing future government shutdowns and protecting those adversely impacted by them.”
The recently concluded 35-day partial government shutdown failed to resolve the issues that created it — the biggest of which is President Donald Trump’s demand for $5.7 billion in funding for a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border.
Under Mitchell and Krishnamoorthi’s resolution, the government would remain funded, even if Congress and the president can’t agree on a budget.
Included in the resolution, Congress would commit to the following:
• Take meaningful bipartisan action to amend the United States code to prevent any future lapse in appropriations, and to permanently end government shutdowns.
• Ensuring that no Americans, including federal employees, contractors, and citizens who depend on critical government services, have to suffer the consequences of future government shutdowns.
“During this last shutdown, government workers were held hostage without pay for 35 days, creating financial distress for working families in my district and across the country,” Krishnamoorthi said. “During this time, numerous critical government programs were unfunded, leaving millions of Americans without vital services essential to their safety, health, and prosperity.
To top it all off, a recent S&P report states that our economy lost $6 billion dollars due to the shutdown. I am proud to say today’s legislation solidifies Congress’ bipartisan commitment to prevent any government shutdown from harming our citizens, our workers, and our economy ever again.”
The proposal is unlikely to pass before Feb. 15, when current funding for some federal agencies runs out.