Lankford Joins CNN, Shares How Government Shutdowns Make the Border Crisis Worse


View the interview here or download it here.

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) today joined CNN This Morning to give an update on his bipartisan Prevent Government Shutdowns Act. The bill requires that if appropriations work is not done on time, all Members of Congress, staff, and the Office of Management and Budget must stay in Washington, DC, and work until the spending bills are completed. This will prevent future threats of a government-wide shutdown, continue critical services and operations for Americans, and hold federal workers and the American peopleharmless while Congress completes appropriations.

Lankford spoke on the Senate floor as Congress nears another fiscal deadline with no appropriations bills passed or continuing resolution. During his speech, Lankford outlined the people who are most impacted by government shutdowns, including the Border Patrol agents who will not get paid and have an even bigger strain on their ability to secure the border.  


We do need to take the shutdown issue off the table entirely. At the end of the day, this is not good for the United States of America as a world leader. It doesn’t typically solve the problem at any point. In fact, I don’t know of a shutdown that solved the issue on it. We do need to have hard, grown up conversations about debt and deficit, but during a shutdown is the wrong time to do it. Quite frankly, the way the bill is shaped, the leaders still have leverage. The way that we shaped the bill—this is Senator Maggie Hassan from New Hampshire, she and I wrote this together five years ago—that Members of Congress and our staff, we stay in session seven days a week, can only work on appropriation bills. It forces Congress to be able to do its job, but it hold federal workers, and their families, and the American people harmless in the process while we work through the issues that we’ve got to get done… A lot of folks say that shutdowns are just a slowdown of government, it doesn’t really affect people. It absolutely does affect us, not only on the international stage but all the contractors are not paid. They’re actually cut out and they’re not paid…The Border Patrol and CBP are dependent on contractors working with them to be able to facilitate all the transportation and everything else that’s going on. If those contractors go away, a really horrible, chaotic situation at the border gets even worse when those folks have no pay and also no help.