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Lankford Continues to Push for Congress to be Held Accountable for Government Shutdowns

WASHINGTON, DC – Yesterday, Senator James Lankford (R-OK) introduced the Prevent Government Shutdowns Act of 2023, which would take government shutdowns off the table and force Congress to stay in town until the work is done.

Supporters endorsing the Prevent Government Shutdowns Act include Citizens Against Government Waste, National Taxpayer Union (NTU), The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, FreedomWorks, Americans for Prosperity, America First Policy Institute, and Americans for Tax Reform.

Here is what supporters are saying…

“Congress never meant for shutdowns to be possible: they came from an executive branch decision in 1980 about a 19th Century law. Today, the shutdown threat pushes members to vote for bills they didn’t get to read or have the chance to amend. Keeping programs going while Congress finishes up funding bills would help involve more members in the process and truly earn their support. We commend Senator Lankford for proposing the Prevent Government Shutdowns Act,” said Kurt Couchman, Senior Fellow in Fiscal Policy, Americans for Prosperity.

“Government shutdowns cost American families, businesses, and taxpayers. They should be a thing of the past. National Taxpayers Union is proud to support the Preventing Government Shutdowns Act from Senators Lankford and Hassan, which would end government shutdowns by providing for automatic continuing resolutions while incentivizing Congress to stay in Washington and pass a budget when they have failed to do so,” said Andrew Lautz, Director of Federal Policy, NTU.

“Congress has consistently failed to fulfill its most basic duty to pass all 12 appropriations bills on time, relying instead on continuing resolutions and omnibus appropriations bills to avoid a government shutdown. Senator Lankford’s Prevent Government Shutdowns Act provides a mechanism to prevent a government shutdown as negotiations over spending continue, along with incentives to pass the budget and appropriations bills on time. Senators should support this commonsense bill and start meeting their own budget deadlines,” said Tom Schatz, President, Council for Citizens Against Government Waste.

“Congress’s repeated failure to handle our taxpayer dollars responsibly and hit its own fiscal deadlines is unacceptable. Government shutdowns end up costing taxpayers billions of dollars and hurt our economy. The Prevent Government Shutdowns Act is a commonsense reform that protects taxpayers and forces our elected officials to do their jobs,” said Adam Brandon, President, Freedomworks.

Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, said “Government shutdowns are unnecessary and preventable. Failing to accomplish the most basic task of governing harms our economic growth, interrupts government services, and furloughs many government employees caught in the middle. Implementing an automatic continuing resolution – while ensuring legislators continue working until the job of funding the government is complete – is a wise strategy. I commend Senators Lankford (R-OK) and Hassan (D-NH) for introducing the Prevent Government Shutdowns Act. This bill is an excellent initial step towards reforming our nation’s flawed budget process, allowing our lawmakers to focus on long-term solutions rather than forcing short-term emergencies.”

“The American people are sick and tired of the DC political games that use the threat of government shutdowns to ram blowout spending bills and radical policies through Congress at the last minute without proper scrutiny, putting the interests of the American people behind those of beltway insiders. Elected officials need to do their jobs. The country is at a crossroads and in need of real solutions, with total federal debt now sitting at $31 trillion. We applaud Senator Lankford’s thoughtful proposal to restore sanity to the budget process by once-and-for-all taking government shutdowns and rushed emergency multi-trillion-dollar omnibus bills that destroy the economy and millions of American jobs off the table. If Congress can’t do its job, then spending should be automatically frozen at the previous year’s level until they come to an agreement. We call this simple common sense,” said Brooke Rollins, President and CEO America First Policy Institute.

“Government shutdowns waste billions of dollars and are often used as leverage during budget negotiations, putting taxpayers on the hook for these political tactics. I support the Prevent Government Shutdowns Act because it will save taxpayer dollars and prevent members from voting for omnibus spending blowouts they otherwise wouldn’t support. This bill, introduced by Senators James Lankford and Maggie Hassan, establishes an automatic continuing resolution to prevent government shutdowns while imposing restrictions in the meantime on travel and floor operations. All lawmakers should support and cosponsor this commonsense piece of legislation,” said Grover Norquist, President, Americans for Tax Reform.