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Senator Lankford Votes to Keep Government Open

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) voted in support of a continuing resolution to extend government funding at current levels. This week, Lankford spoke on the Senate floor about the need to address federal spending and budget issues and to once again call on his colleagues to pass his bipartisan Prevent Government Shutdowns Act to hold federal families harmless in the event of a government shutdown due to a lack of federal funding.

“Funding the government through short-term continuing resolutions is never my preference, but since the House is preoccupied with impeachment, Congress needs a little more time to actually pass appropriations bills and legislation to permanently prevent government shutdowns,” said Lankford. “As I have said many times before, the Senate and House have got to get serious about deficit spending and our escalating $23 trillion national debt. Passing numerous continuing resolutions and stubbornly relying on the same broken budget and spending practices that got us here in the first place do nothing to help that. Oklahomans are counting on us to properly fund the government and to stop the debt problems already barreling toward us. 

“This bill avoids a government shutdown in the short term, but we must continue to press for a long-term solution to ensure the consequences of Washington dysfunction fall squarely on Congress, not federal families. Senator Hassan and I have worked diligently to move our Prevent Government Shutdowns Act to hold Congress accountable when we fail to pass full appropriations bills. We are very close to actually bringing a bill to the floor for a vote. Our federal families—and private citizens throughout our nation—deserve certainty from their federal government so they can do their jobs to process grants, execute federal contracts, keep us safe, and keep the government functioning.”

Earlier this year, Lankford and Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) introduced the Prevent Government Shutdowns Act after a 35-day shutdown, the longest in history. The Prevent Government Shutdowns Act passed out of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC) earlier this year. The bill is a simple bipartisan plan led by Lankford and Hassan that would require Members of Congress and their staffs to stay in DC if all appropriations bills are not passed by both houses and signed by the President by the beginning of the fiscal year. Oklahoma is home to 45,868 federal employees.