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Kaine & Beyer Introduce Bill to Prevent Government Shutdowns

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine and U.S. Representative Don Beyer (D-VA-08) introduced the End Shutdowns Act, legislation to prevent government shutdowns and the senseless pain they inflict on federal employees, government contractors, and millions of Americans who rely on government services. Kaine has been outspoken against the use of government shutdowns as a negotiating tactic. In an effort to take that option away, this bill would initiate an automatic continuing resolution on October 1 if no appropriations bill is passed by that date. It would also stop the Senate from moving forward with any other legislation, outside of an emergency scenario, until Congress reached an agreement on a long-term spending deal.

“Government shutdowns have disastrous consequences for federal employees and government contractors and slow down critical government services that millions of Americans rely on like getting replacement Social Security cards and food inspections. But politicians continue to use or threaten to use government shutdowns as a negotiating tactic,” said Senator Kaine. “This is unacceptable, which is why I’m reintroducing my bill to prevent government shutdowns.”

“Government shutdowns are destructive for the federal workforce and the country, no good can come from them, and Congress should not allow them to happen,” said Representative Beyer. “Intentionally shuttering the government of the most powerful country on earth is foolish, weakening and embarrassing America on the world stage. It also does lasting damage to our economy and inflicts harrowing uncertainty on millions of civil servants and their families, many of whom live far from Washington. Congress should permanently take the threat of a government shutdown off the table, which is what our commonsense bill would do.”

During the December 2018-January 2019 government shutdown, Kaine objected to the Senate going out of session, which resulted in him securing passage of legislation to guarantee back pay for federal employees for that and all future shutdowns.

Full text of the Senate bill is available here.