Biden and House Republicans look like they are on a collision course for a budget stalemate and a government shutdown as soon as next week.
This would be the 22nd government shutdown since 1978, as Congress and the White House spar over the budget.
Some shutdowns happened with a Republican president and a Democrat Congress. Some have happened with a Democratic president and a Republican running Congress.
But there has been one similarity of each shutdown: the media has blamed every government shutdown on the Republicans. And in most cases, voters have too.
We like the solution that Senator James Lankford of Oklahoma has proposed. If appropriations aren’t signed into law in time, programs are automatically funded at last year’s level until a funding bill is passed.
Lankford tells us that he has support from four Senate Democrats plus Independent Krysten Sinema. He believes he can get enough Democrats to reach the 60 votes needed to force a floor vote on his amendment. The idea would then go to the GOP-controlled House.
“The Prevent Government Shutdowns Act would do exactly what the title suggests. It’s a simple bill that offers a reasonable solution to one form of recurring congressional gridlock.”
Lankford told the Hotline that under his bill Congress would have powerful incentives to pass appropriations:
- No taxpayer-funded travel allowances for official business
- No use of campaign funds by congressional offices for travel
- No motions to recess or adjourn in the House/Senate for a period of more than 23 hours
- No other votes would be in order in the House and Senate unless they pertain to passage of appropriations.
Lankford says his bill would create a type of Detention Hall for Congress: “We should be forced as members to finish our homework or else stay after class.”