Sen. Enzi Cosponsors Bill to End Federal Government Shutdowns
Wyoming Republican U.S. Senator Mike Enzi is cosponsoring legislation that aims to prevent future shutdowns of the federal government.
Meanwhile, Congress faces the threat of a second government shutdown this year, with a stopgap spending bill set to expire at the end of next week.
"Government shutdowns do not benefit anyone and actually end up costing taxpayers more money," Enzi said in a statement Wednesday. "This legislation would help hold Congress accountable while avoiding irresponsible funding lapses. It is time to end unnecessary government shutdowns for good."
The bill, an updated version of the bipartisan Prevent Government Shutdowns Act, was introduced Tuesday.
It would establish an automatic continuing resolution at the current spending level until an agreement on funding is enacted. Enzi's office says that would prevent a government-wide shutdown and keep federal agencies functioning.
If federal funding is not set up by Oct. 1, official travel would be prohibited for leadership and staff of the Office of Management and Budget as well as members of Congress, along with their committee and personal staff.
In addition, congressional offices would be prohibited from using campaign funds to supplement official duties or travel expenses. No motions to recess or adjourn either chamber of Congress would be considered in order for more than 23 hours, and the Senate would be restricted from considering most matters that do not relate to government spending.
The bill's main sponsors are Sen. James Lankford, an Oklahoma Republican, and Maggie Hassan, a Democrat from New Hampshire.
Senators Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin), Angus King (I-Maine) and Tim Kaine (D-Virginia) are cosponsoring the bill along with Enzi.
“The last 40 years, we’ve had 21 government shutdowns led by both parties—each one costing taxpayers billions of dollars and hurting federal employees,” Lankford said in a statement. “The plan is simple: End government shutdowns, while keeping the government open as Members of Congress, their staffs and the Office of Management and Budget remain in Washington to finish appropriations bills."