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Capitol Correspondence - 02.04.19

Senate Republican Leadership Interested in Bills Preventing Future Shutdowns

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ANCOR is sharing the article below by The Hill because shutdowns disrupt the work of Congress and federal agencies, on which I/DD supports and people with disabilities rely for issues big and small.

“Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on Tuesday that he is open to legislation that would prevent future government shutdowns. 

‘I don’t like shutdowns. I don’t think they work for anybody and I hope they will be avoided. I’d be open to anything that we could agree on on a bipartisan basis that would make them pretty hard to occur again,’ McConnell told reporters less than a week after the last partial shutdown ended. 

The Senate GOP leader added that federal funding lapses were an example of ‘government dysfunction’ and they should be ‘embarrassing.’

A growing number of senators say they would support legislation that would prevent future government shutdowns by automatically creating a continuing resolution (CR). But there are competing proposals in the Senate, with Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Mark Warner (D-Va.) both introducing legislation. 

Portman’s proposal would reduce funding by 1 percent after 120 days and again every subsequent 90 days if lawmakers haven’t reached a deal. Warner’s would withhold funding for the legislative branch and the Executive Office of the President in an attempt to motivate lawmakers to negotiate.

Congress faces another deadline to prevent a partial shutdown on Feb. 15. The 35-day funding lapse, which ended on Friday, was the longest in U.S. history and sparked considerable frustration on Capitol Hill. 

But the idea of automatically creating a CR ran into backlash from prominent House Democrats on Tuesday. 

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) told reporters that he was ‘reticent’ about legislation that would take Congress out of the decision-making process.”