As Shutdown Talk Continues, Portman Introduces Bill to Permanently Prevent Government Shutdowns

April 24, 2017 | Press Releases

Bill Would Keep Government Running, End Shutdowns that Disrupt Critical Government Services & Cost Taxpayers Billions

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As Congress races to prevent another government shutdown this week, U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) today introduced legislation that would permanently prevent the federal government from shutting down, ensuring that essential government services aren’t disrupted and protecting taxpayers who must bear the resulting cost. The End Government Shutdowns Act would create an automatic continuing resolution (CR) for any regular appropriations bill or existing CR, keeping the federal government open and reducing the chance of last-minute, budget-busting bills being forced through Congress.

“Almost everybody hates government shutdowns. They don’t accomplish anything. They don’t get our fiscal house in order and they disrupt critical government programs that have a big impact on people’s lives,” Portman said.As leverage in a political negotiation, they’re fool’s gold. We should end government shutdowns for good. My legislation would do that, giving federal workers and their families more stability, providing lawmakers with more time to make smarter decisions for taxpayers, and ensuring we avoid disruptions that ultimately hurt our economy and working families.”

NOTE: Government shutdowns occurred in 1995 and 2013. Six occurred from 1976 to 1979, and nine from 1981 to 1990.  According to an estimate from Moody’s, the 2013 government shutdown cost the American economy $20 billion.

The End Government Shutdowns Act would create an automatic continuing resolution (CR) for any regular appropriations bill not completed by the October 1 deadline.  After the first 120 days, CR funding would be reduced by one percent and would be reduced by one percent again every 90 days thereafter until Congress does its job and completes the annual appropriations process.  The bill would ensure:

  • No more government shutdowns that create chaos for citizens who depend on federal services and cost taxpayers billions of dollars;
  • Stability and predictability for government agencies, which will be able to plan their budgets based on a default appropriations level;
  • Less incentive for haphazard, last-minute budget deals that lawmakers have to vote on before they have even read them;
  • Lawmakers would have until January to complete the appropriations bills before funding levels change; and
  • Restraining government spending by maintaining and gradually reducing funding when Congress does not act.

Portman has introduced this legislation in every Congress since he was first elected to the United States Senate in 2010. Supporting Portman’s legislation as original co-sponsors are Senators Johnny Isakson (R-GA), John Barrasso (R-WY), Mike Lee (R-UT), and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK).