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Committee Passes Bipartisan Bill Introduced by Senators Hassan, Lankford to Prevent Government Shutdowns

WASHINGTON, DC – Senators James Lankford (R-OK) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) today applauded passage of their Prevent Government Shutdowns Act in the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee today. The Senators’ Grant Reporting Efficiency and Agreements Transparency (GREAT) Act, which reforms federal grant reporting processes, and Lankford’s Early Participation in Regulations Act to direct agencies to issue advanced notices for major rules, also passed the Committee today.


The Prevent Government Shutdowns Act is a simple, bipartisan proposal that would address the threat of government shutdowns once and for all. If all appropriations bills are not passed by both houses and signed by the President by the beginning of the next fiscal year, no official travel will be allowed for Office of Management and Budget (OMB) leadership or staff, Cabinet members, or Senators and Representatives along with their committee and personal staffs (except for official travel within the DC metro area).


“I am grateful to be able to move this bill one step closer to the finish line today,” said Lankford. “If we reach peak Washington dysfunction and cannot come to an agreement on appropriations bills to fully fund the government, we should keep working until the job is done in the House, Senate, and White House, not furlough our federal workers and their families. Preventing travel and holding mandatory roll call votes will keep negotiators at the table while the automatic funding mechanism would ensure federal employees are paid. Any legislator who truly wants to end the drama of needless government shutdown brinksmanship should support this bill. I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues in the Senate to encourage bipartisan support and passage. This is a problem that can and should be solved.” 


“It is totally unacceptable that when Washington is unable to work across party lines to fund the government, hard-working Americans end up bearing the burden of this dysfunction,” Hassan said. “Our bipartisan bill would provide automatic funding to keep the government’s doors from closing and prevent members of Congress from leaving Washington, DC, until an agreement is reached. I am pleased to be working with Senator Lankford on this issue, and I urge all my Senate colleagues to support this commonsense measure.”


Bill Highlights

During a period of lapsed appropriations, there will be:

·         No taxpayer-funded travel allowances for official business (except one flight to return to Washington DC) for the following:

o    White House OMB staff and leadership

o    White House Cabinet Members

o    Members of the House and Senate

o    Committee and personal staff of the House and Senate

o    Official travel permitted within the national capital region (DC metro)

·         No CODEL or STAFFDEL delegation travel

·         No travel reimbursement (meals, per diem, or any type, including for state staff)

·         No use of campaign funds by congressional offices to supplement official duties or travel expenses

·         No other votes made in order in the House and Senate unless they pertain to passage of the appropriations bills, national emergency legislation, or mandatory quorum calls in the Senate

·         No motions to recess or adjourn the Senate or House in order for more than 23 hours

·         A waiver process for these restrictions in the House or Senate if they meet a two-third majority vote threshold in each chamber

·         Implementation of an automatic continuing resolution (CR) at last year’s spending levels until passage of a law to appropriate all remaining lapsed spending for that fiscal year

·         A required recorded quorum call vote each day at noon in the House and Senate to confirm attendance, which keeps Members in town for mandatory votes


Lankford served on the Joint Select Committee on Budget and Appropriations Process Reform, where he worked to develop reforms to our federal budget and spending processes. Lankford also serves on the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senate Finance Committee and is chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs and Federal Management. 


As Ranking Member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Federal Spending Oversight and Emergency Management and the Senate Finance Subcommittee on Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Growth, Hassan is committed to working across party lines to maintain fiscal responsibility and improve innovation and efficiency within government.