House Republican Policy Committee Chairman James Lankford (R-OK) today introduced the Government Shutdown Prevention Act.
"Every time Congress and the President miss a statutory budget deadline, the fallback position is another government shutdown or one more continuing resolution to fund the government at current, unsustainable levels," said Lankford.
"With $16.6 trillion in debt and federal deficit spending hovering at around $1 trillion a year, it's time we put a stop to the irresponsible automatic federal spending spree. The Government Shutdown Prevention Act enables the government to remain open but incentivizes Congress to pass a budget by providing modest incremental spending cuts."
If Congress fails to approve a budget by the end of each fiscal year, the Government Shutdown Prevention Act would ensure that all operations remain running normally without any interruption of services by automatically triggering a continuing resolution (CR) or short-term, stop-gap spending device.
The bill creates an automatic CR for any regular appropriations bill not completed before the end of the fiscal year. After the first 120 days, auto-CR funding would be reduced by one percentage point and would continue to be reduced by that margin every 90 days.
By progressively decreasing the amounts provided under the automatic continuing resolution, the bill provides continued incentives for Congress and the President to reach agreement on regular appropriations bills.
"I welcome the opportunity to introduce this important bill to help continue to reform our broken federal budget process and bring our nation back into fiscal balance," continued Lankford. "I look forward to consideration of the Government Shutdown Prevention Act by committee and the full House. The American people are calling for common-sense reforms they can see, not just smoke and mirrors accounting gimmicks of the past. This bill takes us one step closer to that reasonable goal," concluded Lankford.