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house Bill H.R. 5313

Should Congress Prevent Future Gov't Shutdowns by Automatically Continuing Spending at Previous Levels?

Argument in favor

This would make government shutdowns over budgets a thing of the past, forcing both parties’ leadership to aggressively seek timely passage of appropriations bills under regular order to achieve funding and policy objectives. It'd be a strong incentive for constructive compromise involving a majority of Congress.

burrkitty's Opinion
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09/18/2018
That’s the logical choice so, yes, but they aren’t going to give that weapon up so easily. Congress isn’t hurt by government shutdowns. They still get paid. Our military and civil service members are the ones who are hurt.
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Michael 's Opinion
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09/18/2018
Threatening shutdowns are ridiculous and passing resolutions just to keep the government working is counterproductive. It's hard to believe that Congress would ever vote for something like this because they are basically lazy in my opinion and anything that makes them work and something they don't want to hear about
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Sherry's Opinion
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09/18/2018
We need to stop holding the government functions hostage because the GOP was to force their agenda on the American people.
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Argument opposed

Funding the federal government at the previously-enacted level without regard for changing policy needs or individual programs’ value wastes taxpayer dollars by ignoring hundreds of hours of consideration and program evaluation incorporated into each federal agency’s budget submission.

Seth 's Opinion
···
09/18/2018
They should prevent government shut downs by first off any federal law maker that sits in Congress or Senate should not be paid if the government shuts down they should be the first ones to lose a paycheck not the folks working at Yellowstone park or any place like that the people sitting in Washington should lose their paychecks first if the government shuts down that would make them get along because to you all it’s all about the money plain and simple
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Mark's Opinion
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09/18/2018
OH HELL NO! This has to be another TWISTED PLOT by the GOP to turn OUR GREAT COUNTRY into CHINA/RUSSIA’s debtor! NO CHANCE of ever BALANCING THE BUDGET or EVEN A SURPLUS! Now wouldn’t that be awesome! WAIT A MIN- we HAD a SURPLUS during POTUS CLINTON! And after ‘W’ screwed us into 2 wars and blew up the deficit into a DEPRESSION, POTUS OBAMA had the SOLUTIONS to fix get us back on a POSITIVE FISCAL GAIN! Why would anyone want to go back to something that will be ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE to ever fix?
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Poli.Sci's Opinion
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09/18/2018
The whole idea of the government agreeing on and submitting a budget is the one of the main responsibilities of Congress as it holds the purse strings of Federal government. When Congress takes all year to pass the budget that is supposed to be passed on or before the new Fiscal year, the government should be closed down: you cannot set in a stop-gap to continue government, it only inflames the situation rather than fixes the problem. Instead, it should be made into law that no one gets paid, except soldiers and military personnel, when a budget is not passed by a specified date, which should be tax day (the recognized day). There should be no compensation for time lost in this manner and the government can be controlled by civil servants at that time. Welcome to having a deadline and actually doing your job.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Appropriations
      Committee on the Budget
    IntroducedMarch 15th, 2018

What is House Bill H.R. 5313?

This bill — the End Federal Shutdowns Act of 2018 — would require that spending be continued at the previously enacted levels if Congress fails to pass appropriations bills on time in order to prevent a lapse in government funding or partial shutdown.

Impact

Federal agencies; and Congress.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 5313

A CBO cost estimate for this bill is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) introduced this bill to end Congress’ reliance on short-term, stop-gap funding bills to keep the federal government running:

“For far too long, Congress has relied on short term, stop-gap funding bills to keep the federal government open and running — and have done so when up against holidays and midnight deadlines… For the last 40 years — but increasingly more so in the last decade — this has been and is the way Washington operates. It needs to end now. Put simply, this is how it works: time is running out as Congress approaches a funding deadline. In exchange for their votes, appropriators demand more money for “insert name of pet project” and the spending bill balloons as more and more wish list items are added. Inevitably, one party demands more or they’ll threaten to walk from the deal. A small leadership team from both sides then hammer out a deal behind closed doors — with Republicans agreeing to spend even more money America does not have, has to borrow to get, and cannot afford to pay back… Moreover, these last-minute side deals for unrelated, often deemed “must-pass” legislation, have no business being in a continuing resolution and should be voted on as stand-alone bills. But because of threatened government shutdown risks, the bulk of Congress is subject to the spending demands of the powerful few… In the late-night rush to negotiate a deal, the powerbrokers eventually concede, bad policy is enacted, and Congress is pressured to vote for the deal to please some segment of their constituency. It’s a loss on both sides of the aisle. Perhaps even worse, the country loses — big time — as bills are introduced and voted on before the public has time to digest them and submit their views to their elected officials. Transparency in government becomes nonexistent. And the deficit increases exponentially… While Congress seems hell-bent on passing unaffordable spending bills and adding trillions to America’s debt, eventually the gravy train is going to an end and become a train wreck because America simply can’t afford these expensive deals… Providing for an automatic continuous resolution [by passing this bill] should be the easiest vote most of us in Congress make this year. It provides stability for the federal government and prevents rank and file members from being held hostage to the demands of special interest groups, leadership, and powerful appropriators."

The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget argues that funding each year’s government at the previous year’s level doesn’t account for individual agencies’ needs:

“[F]unding at the past year’s level [does not account for] changing policy needs or the value of each program within an agency… [This] wastes hundreds of hours of careful consideration and program evaluation incorporated into each agency’s budget submission. For instance, the president’s budget annually proposes a list of eliminations and reductions of programs that are duplicative or ineffective; [past-year funding] will continue to fund these unwanted programs… [And, this practice] disrupts activities within agencies, makes it difficult to plan or start future projects, and costs staff time to revise work plans every time the budget changes."

This bill has the support of seven cosponsors, all of whom are Republicans.


Of NoteGovernment shutdowns are a relatively recent phenomenon in American government. They’re the result of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 — since the Act’s passage, Congress has failed to authorize funding for the federal government 19 times, including once at the beginning of this year. The first six of these shutdowns didn’t affect government funding at all, however; it wasn’t until Carter administration Attorney General Benjamin Civiletti issued a set of opinions in 1980 and 1981 that the government started treating “funding gaps” (periods when Congress has failed to allocate funds for the ongoing functions of government) as necessitating the full or partial shutdown of government agencies.

In the event of a shutdown, each federal agency follows its own shutdown plan, following guidance released in previous shutdowns and coordinated by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). These plans identify which government activities may not continue until appropriations are restored, requiring furloughs and the temporary halt of many agency activities.

Essential services,” many of which relate to public safety, continue to operate, with payments covering an obligations incurred only when appropriations are enacted. In prior shutdowns, border protection, in-hospital medical care, air traffic control, law enforcement, and power grid maintenance have been classified as essential. Some legislative and judicial staff have also been classified as essential. Mandatory spending that isn’t subject to annual appropriations, such as Social Medical, Medicare, and Medicaid, continues despite a shutdown.

Services impacted by past shutdowns have included:

  • Social Security and Medicare benefits verification and issuance of cards: The last time this happened, in 1996, over 10,000 Medicare applicants were temporarily turned down every day of the shutdown.

  • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) site inspections: In 2013, the EPA halted site inspections to 1,200 different sites, including hazardous waste, drinking water, and chemical facilities. LIkewise, the Food and Drug Administration delayed almost 900 inspections.

  • National Parks: During the 2013 shutdown, the National Park Service (NPS) turned away millions of visitors to over 400 parks, national monuments, and other sites, leading to the loss of over half a billion dollars in visitor spending revenue.

  • National Institutes of Health (NIH): Because the NIH is prevented from admitting new patients or processing grant applications during a shutdown, the 2013 shutdown forced states to frant the money for formula grant programs such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).

  • Internal Revenue Service (IRS): In 2013, 1.2 million income and Social Security number verification requests built up, potentially delaying mortgage and loan approvals. Billions of dollars in tax refunds were also delayed.


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / mj0007)

AKA

End Federal Shutdowns Act of 2018

Official Title

To provide for automatic continuing appropriations, and for other purposes.

    That’s the logical choice so, yes, but they aren’t going to give that weapon up so easily. Congress isn’t hurt by government shutdowns. They still get paid. Our military and civil service members are the ones who are hurt.
    Like (72)
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    They should prevent government shut downs by first off any federal law maker that sits in Congress or Senate should not be paid if the government shuts down they should be the first ones to lose a paycheck not the folks working at Yellowstone park or any place like that the people sitting in Washington should lose their paychecks first if the government shuts down that would make them get along because to you all it’s all about the money plain and simple
    Like (112)
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    Instead of discussing a Government Shutdown, maybe we should speak about accounting/business principles of budgeting. Throwing money at an overspending problem cannot be a viable solution. Budget problems are common in young adults, not gray haired Congressional Statesman who expect the taxpayers to powder their wrinkled bottoms.
    Like (42)
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    OH HELL NO! This has to be another TWISTED PLOT by the GOP to turn OUR GREAT COUNTRY into CHINA/RUSSIA’s debtor! NO CHANCE of ever BALANCING THE BUDGET or EVEN A SURPLUS! Now wouldn’t that be awesome! WAIT A MIN- we HAD a SURPLUS during POTUS CLINTON! And after ‘W’ screwed us into 2 wars and blew up the deficit into a DEPRESSION, POTUS OBAMA had the SOLUTIONS to fix get us back on a POSITIVE FISCAL GAIN! Why would anyone want to go back to something that will be ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE to ever fix?
    Like (29)
    Follow
    Share
    The whole idea of the government agreeing on and submitting a budget is the one of the main responsibilities of Congress as it holds the purse strings of Federal government. When Congress takes all year to pass the budget that is supposed to be passed on or before the new Fiscal year, the government should be closed down: you cannot set in a stop-gap to continue government, it only inflames the situation rather than fixes the problem. Instead, it should be made into law that no one gets paid, except soldiers and military personnel, when a budget is not passed by a specified date, which should be tax day (the recognized day). There should be no compensation for time lost in this manner and the government can be controlled by civil servants at that time. Welcome to having a deadline and actually doing your job.
    Like (23)
    Follow
    Share
    Threatening shutdowns are ridiculous and passing resolutions just to keep the government working is counterproductive. It's hard to believe that Congress would ever vote for something like this because they are basically lazy in my opinion and anything that makes them work and something they don't want to hear about
    Like (15)
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    Shut it down, pass a budget that addresses our debt problem.
    Like (13)
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    No no no
    Like (9)
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    We need to put a financial responsibility on our elected officials to do their job or face firing or loss in compensation instead of create a law that allows for government not to shut down while representatives drag feet. This law would allow old spending to remain and harm future spending at taxpayer money expense.
    Like (8)
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    No. The more we are confronted with our spending, the more we have to debate it, the more we have to face the debt enslavement of future generations for our flippant consumption now, the better. In fact, the more shutdowns, the better. Make them true shutdowns - stop everything, and no back pay.
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    We need to stop holding the government functions hostage because the GOP was to force their agenda on the American people.
    Like (6)
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    The government should not shut down. Congress is not doing their jobs when there is a shutdown therefore they should not be paid during a shutdown. When any other American refuses to do their job, they are not paid. Enough with these double standards. Enough of millionaires making decisions about the majority of Americans who have little in common with them. Congress has no idea what it is like to have poor or no healthcare, poor education, lack of accessibility to adequate transportation, nutrition, housing, A LIVING WAGE. NO WORK, NO PAY LIKE THE MAJORITY OF US WITH EXCEPTION TO THE DISABLED AND ELDERLY.
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    No, all government offices should be closed (except the military) and all of Congress should lose all pay, benefits, and perks for the remainder of the fiscal year - through the next if not completed, i.e. signed, before the next fiscal year. If one party is stalling the process then perhaps a majority of the majority should be able to pass a stop-gap budget but ONLY if it is at a non-negotiable 10% reduction of all costs and NO back pay. That would put some pressure on them.
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    To have either political party hold the people of the United States Hostage to their particular pet projects by closing down the government, seems to me to be selfish, childish, unbecoming of the office to which they were elected.
    Like (4)
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    NO. Congress trying another angle to not do there job as required by The Constitution.
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    The publics tax-dollars shouldn’t be taking care of gov’t laziness. If you cannot often do your job effectively and on time, you shouldn’t be in office.
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    There should be an Amendment to balance the budget and the Government should be run like a business!
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    👍🏻 H.R. 5313 AKA the End Federal Shutdowns Act 👍🏻 I STRONGLY support AND recommend the passage HOUSE bill H.R. 5313 AKA the End Federal Shutdowns Act of 2018 — would require that spending be continued at the previously enacted levels if Congress fails to pass appropriations bills on time in order to prevent a lapse in government funding or partial shutdown. This bill — the End Federal Shutdowns Act of 2018 — would require that spending be continued at the previously enacted levels if Congress fails to pass appropriations bills on time in order to prevent a lapse in government funding or partial shutdown. 9*17*18 ..... SneakyPete .....
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    Enacting a budget is one of the primary reasons that we send our representatives (in both houses) to Congress. Every politician should be held responsible for every dollar spent by the government. By simply allowing the present budget to continue enables politicians to step away from their responsibility to cast that vote, and then face their constituents when it comes time for reelection (because every member of Congress is a career politician).
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    Pass a budget on time or congressmen and senators get replaced in the year that they are unable to pass a budget.
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