February 01, 2023
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Angus King has introduced bipartisan legislation that would prevent government shutdowns and compel Congress to stay in the D.C. metropolitan area until their work to sustain government operations is complete. The Prevent Government Shutdowns Act of 2023 requires all Members of Congress to continue working on Capitol Hill until government funding bills are completed. This would prevent harmful shut downs, ensure critical services and programs continue for Maine people, and protect federal workers and their families from financial stress while Congress completes the annual appropriations process.
“The American people sent their Members of Congress to Washington to work for them – and when we allow partisan bickering to shut down the government, we aren’t doing that job. When Washington’s dysfunction repeatedly hurts hardworking Maine people, it’s clear that something needs to change,” said Senator King. “We’ve seen the ripple effects of shutdowns too many times: families left struggling, local small businesses seeing stark declines in their traffic, and Americans scrambling to receive the federal services they rely on. The Prevent Government Shutdowns Act of 2023 is a bipartisan effort to prevent these self-inflicted crises and make government shutdowns a thing of the past. I hope my colleagues can join me and help pass this commonsense bill.”
Upon a lapse in government funding, the bill would implement an automatic continuing resolution (CR), on rolling 14-day periods, based on the most current spending levels enacted in the previous fiscal year. This would prevent a shutdown and continue critical services and operations. During the covered period of an automatic CR, restrictions would be put in place to prevent Congress from adjourning and prohibit taxpayer funded travel for Members of Congress and their staff.
In addition, under the bill, no other votes would be in order in the House and Senate unless they pertain to passage of the appropriations bills or mandatory quorum calls in the Senate. These restrictions can be waived by a two-thirds vote in either chamber but not for longer than seven days. Additionally, the bill provides for expedited consideration of bipartisan funding bills if appropriations have not been enacted after 30 days after the start of the fiscal year. This further incentivizes Congress to process bipartisan spending bills and fund the government on time.
Senator King is joined on the bill by Senators James Lankford R-OK), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Ron Johnson (R-WI), John Barrasso (R-WY), Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), Steve Daines (R-MT), Rick Scott (R-FL), Mike Braun (R-IN), and Mark Kelly (D-AZ).