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Lankford Joins GMA3, Explains His Plan to End Government Shutdowns

By: ABC - GMA3

View the interview here or download it here.

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) today joined ABC’s GMA3: What You Need to Know to discuss his bipartisan Prevent Government Shutdowns Act as Congress faces another potential shutdown on November 17, 2023.

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 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.

During debate last week, Lankford continuously pointed out the harmful impacts that a government shutdown would have on federal employees—specifically Border Patrol, Military, federal contractors, and Air Traffic Controllers. 


So [the Prevent Government Shutdowns Act] is actually a bill that five years ago Maggie Hassan, who’s a Democratic Senator from New Hampshire, she and I sat down and said, ‘There’s been a lot of proposals in government shutdowns, none of them have been bipartisan that have really been effective to draw a lot of people together.’ So, we sat down and said ‘we all want to stop this what’s the best way to stop it.’ As simple as it sounds, we started with the most basic concept: if you don’t finish your classwork, you stay after a class. The way that this works is if you get to the end of the fiscal year and the 12 appropriation bills are not done, the House and the Senate are in continuous session seven days week. We can’t travel and we can only move to appropriation bills during that time period. It basically puts us in a spot to say, ‘You can’t leave you can’t go see your family on the weekend you can’t travel and do other events and things that need to be done. You’ve got to be able to stay here and work on just appropriations until you get those things solved’…It holds the American people and federal workers harmless, but it puts us in a position where we’ve got to work until we get it done.