WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) introduced legislation today to put an end to future government shutdowns, such as the one that would happen later this week absent cooperation from Senate Republicans, who voted to block legislation that would have kept the government funded through December 3.
The Stop STUPIDITY (Shutdowns Transferring Unnecessary Pain and Inflicting Damage In The Coming Years) Act would protect federal workers and employees, who are often forced to go without pay during government shutdowns, by keeping the government running in the case of a lapse in funding. This legislation would also help prevent the chaos that shutdowns can wreak on the lives of veterans, seniors, and other Americans who rely on timely government services. Additionally, it would help prevent the kind of backlogs and delays commonly associated with government shutdowns, including those affecting the Internal Revenue Service, the Social Security Administration, and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
“Our nation’s federal workers have worked day-in and day-out during the pandemic to make sure that American families and businesses can count on the government in their time of need. I can’t think of a worse way to repay these civil servants than by shutting down the government in the midst of an ongoing health and economic crisis. My legislation would spare federal workers from the volatility of government shutdowns, and preserve the stability our government necessitates as we continue to fight COVID-19,” said Sen. Warner.
In the past, government shutdowns have left federal employees no other recourse than to drain their savings, tank their credit, or choose between putting food on the table or keeping a roof above their heads. The Stop STUPIDITY Act would allow federal workers to keep receiving a paycheck during shutdowns by automatically renewing government funding at the same levels as the previous fiscal year, with adjustments for inflation. This legislation would fund all aspects of the government, except for the legislative branch and the Executive Office of the President – effectively forcing Congress and the White House to come to the negotiating table without putting the economy at risk or hurting the American public.
A copy of the bill text is available here.