U.S. Senators Mike Enzi and John Barrasso, both R-Wyo., along with seven other senators, introduced legislation today that would permanently prevent the federal government from shutting down in the future, ensuring that essential government services are not disrupted and protecting taxpayers who must bear the resulting cost.
The End Government Shutdowns Act would create an automatic continuing resolution (CR) for any regular appropriations bill or existing CR, keeping the federal government open when budget negotiations falter before key spending deadlines.
“A government shutdown disrupts lives both inside and outside the government,” Enzi said. “We could avoid future shutdowns altogether if Congress would pass the End Government Shutdowns Act.”
“Shutting down the government, even partially, never benefits anyone,” said Barrasso. “Americans shouldn’t have to suffer uncertainty or go without a paycheck because Congress failed to fund the government. This legislation will help put an end to unnecessary shutdowns in the future.”
The End Government Shutdowns Act would automatically continue funding for discretionary programs for which a budget has not been enacted by the Oct. 1 deadline each fiscal year. After the first 120 days past the Oct. 1 deadline, if the government has yet to enact spending bills, the budget for each program, project or activity affected would be reduced by 1 percent. The funding would again be reduced by 1 percent every 90 days thereafter until Congress does its job and completes the annual appropriations process.
U.S. Senator Rob Portman, R-Ohio, has led the introduction of this legislation in every Congress since 2010. U.S. Senators Steve Daines, R-Mont., Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, Mike Lee, R-Utah, Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and Jim Risch, R-Idaho, also cosponsored this bill.
The full text of the legislation can be found here.