GOP Congressman Introduces Bill to Prevent Government Shutdowns

By Melanie Arter | January 17, 2019 | 10:32 AM EST

OGDEN, UT - JANUARY 10: A demonstrator holds a sign protesting the government shutdown at the James V. Hansen Federal Building on January 10, 2019 in Ogden, Utah. As the shutdown nears the three week mark, many federal employees will not receive a paycheck tomorrow. (Photo by Natalie Behring/Getty Images)

( – Rep. John Curtis (R-Utah) introduced a bill Wednesday to prevent the government from shutting down. He also introduced a separate bill two weeks ago to prevent Congress from getting paid during government shutdowns.

The Government Shutdown Prevention Act, introduced by Curtis and Rep. Lloyd Smucker (R-Pa.) “aims to end political gameplaying and fix Congress’ dysfunctional budget process.”

If passed, the bill would “automatically” fund the government through a continuing resolution (CR) and impose a five percent spending penalty on the day the CR begins. Then 60 days after the first day of the fiscal year, federal spending would be reduced by two percent and by an additional two percent for each 60-day period after that.

“Since coming to Congress, I have consistently advocated for a better budgeting process. Members of Congress should be accountable to fund the Federal government responsibly and on-time,” said Curtis. “Today, I am pleased to join my colleagues in introducing this common-sense bill, which mirror’s Utah’s process, to permanently end government shutdowns for good.”

The bill was also sponsored by Reps. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.), Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio), Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), and Fred Upton (R-Mich.).


Curtis pointed out that the federal government has been shut down on four separate occasions since 2013. The current shutdown, which began on Dec. 22, is the longest in history.

Meanwhile, Curtis introduced a bill on Jan. 3 to prevent members of Congress from being paid during a government shutdown.

The No Work, No Pay Act of 2019 (H.R. 26) would prohibit senators and congressmen from being paid during periods when any federal agency is shut down due to a lapse in funding appropriation.

“The American people expect Congress to do its most basic job: pass a budget and fund the government. If we can’t, then we shouldn’t get paid,” Curtis said in a statement. “Washington should take note of states like Utah that do it right. Not only does the Utah Legislature pass a baseline budget at the beginning of each legislative session to avoid any state government shutdown threats, but they also responsibly balance the state’s budget every year.”

The bill has all Republican co-sponsors: Rep. Greg Gianforte (R-Mont.), Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), Bill Posey (R-Fla.), Steven Watkins (R-Kan.). Susan Brooks (R-Ind.), and Ralph Norman (R-S.C.).


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