Lawmakers call for passage of bill that would end government shutdowns

Published: Oct. 5, 2023 at 6:21 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - A group of senators on Capitol Hill are now calling for the passage of a bill that could end government shutdowns for good.

The Prevent Government Shutdowns Act of 2023 would effectively end shutdowns by enacting rolling 14-day short-term spending deals until Congress passes the 12 required appropriations bills.

“If there’s dysfunction and you can’t fund an agency or the entire government, you don’t shut it down. You just keep spending at last year’s levels to get your act together and you pass appropriation bills,” said Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), one of the co-sponsors of the bill.

Congress could be faced with another possible government shutdown just ahead of Thanksgiving if they cannot reach an agreement on annual spending bills. The bill that was passed last weekend was for just 45 days.

The bill would require that the House and Senate remain in continuous session, seven days a week if are not able to pass a spending deal in time. Lawmakers would also not be allowed to travel home and could only move appropriations bills.

Senator Johnson says the legislation is necessary now to avoid a repeat of the shutdown that nearly happened over the weekend.

“Another shutdown will be looming right before Thanksgiving. So if we could pass this ahead of time, part of this minibus, if the House could take up similar type of minibus and pass it, this could be law and we will prevented all future shutdowns,” he said.

The senator says there are now 10 Democrats supporting the bill and believes it should be able to pass.