BPC Action Applauds Prevent Government Shutdowns Act in Budget and Appropriations, Government Reform

BPC Action applauds Sens. James Lankford (R-OK) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) for their leadership on the Prevent Government Shutdowns Act. This bill, which shares bipartisan support of 10 Senate co-sponsors as well, aims to make government shutdowns a thing of the past by automatically implementing a stopgap continuing resolution (CR) to keep the government open when Congress fails to pass spending bills on time. 

There have been 14 government shutdowns since 1980. Although some were very short, lasting only a day or two, several have lasted weeks and caused serious interruptions to everyday Americans, government employees, and small businesses. A shutdown can affect vital government services like farm loans through the Department of Agriculture, salaries and benefits for the nation’s military servicemembers, and even veterans’ benefits. 

The last shutdown, December 2018-January 2019, was the longest in history—lasting 34 days—and cost the U.S. economy billions of dollars.  

The Prevent Government Shutdowns Act would enact automatic CRs on a two-week rolling basis when Congress fails to pass full-year spending bills by the start of the fiscal year on October 1 each year, keeping the government open and preventing an interruption to important services. It would also prohibit members of Congress from spending taxpayer dollars on travel, going on recess, or considering most non-spending legislation until they finish work on the budget. While broader reforms are needed to fix a broken congressional budget process, this bipartisan bill would end the annual chaos of government shutdowns and incentivize legislative action on appropriations. 

BPC Action is proud to support the Prevent Government Shutdowns Act and encourages bipartisan collaboration to take the threat of government shutdowns off the table once and for all.