04.24.17

As Shutdown Talk Continues, Daines Introduces Bill to Permanently Prevent Government Shutdowns

Bill Would Keep Government Running, End Shutdowns that Disrupt Critical Government Services & Cost Taxpayers Billions 

U.S. SENATE — As Congress races to prevent another government shutdown this week, U.S. Senator Steve Daines today introduced legislation that would permanently prevent the federal government from shutting down, ensuring that essential government services aren’t 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 and reducing the chance of last-minute, budget-busting bills being forced through Congress. 

“Washington’s govern-by-crisis strategy must stop,” Daines stated. “We need to have a real conversation about bloated government spending not just when the clock runs out. Montanans deserve certainty.”  

NOTE: Government shutdowns occurred in 1995 and 2013. Six occurred from 1976 to 1979, and nine from 1981 to 1990.  According to an estimate from Moody’s, the 2013 government shutdown cost the American economy $20 billion. 

The End Government Shutdowns Act would create an automatic continuing resolution (CR) for any regular appropriations bill not completed by the October 1 deadline.  After the first 120 days, CR funding would be reduced by one percent and would be reduced by one percent again every 90 days thereafter until Congress does its job and completes the annual appropriations process. 

The bill would ensure:

  • No more government shutdowns that create chaos for citizens who depend on federal services and cost taxpayers billions of dollars;
  • Stability and predictability for government agencies, which will be able to plan their budgets based on a default appropriations level;
  • Less incentive for haphazard, last-minute budget deals that lawmakers have to vote on before they have even read them;
  • Lawmakers would have until January to complete the appropriations bills before funding levels change; and
  • Restraining government spending by maintaining and gradually reducing funding when Congress does not act.

Daines was joined by U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), John Barrasso (R-WY), Mike Lee (R-UT), and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK).