The government shutdown has now been going on for more than a month, but newly introduced legislation, if passed, could prevent this from ever happening again.
Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., introduced legislation that will put an end to all future government shutdowns. The bill, called the Stop STUPIDITY (Shutdowns Transferring Unnecessary Pain and Inflicting Damage In The Coming Years) Act, would fund all aspects of the government except for the legislative branch and the executive office of the president, should another shutdown occur.
Warner explained it would force the White House and Congress to negotiate without putting the risk on the economy or hurting Americans. The bill would keep the government running during the lapse in funding by automatically renewing government funding at the same levels as the previous fiscal year, with adjustments for inflation.
“The Stop STUPIDITY Act takes the aggressive but necessary step of forcing the president and Congress to do the jobs they were elected to do,” Warner said. “It is disturbing that the daily lives of hundreds of thousands of workers are at the mercy of dysfunction in Washington.”
“Workers, business owners and taxpayers are currently paying the price of D.C. gridlock and my legislation will put an end to that,” he said.
The partial government shutdown, which is now on day 32 as of Jan. 23, 2019, is having the highest impact on America’s most vulnerable.
New reports show that federal contracts for 1,150 government-funded properties that house low-income renters expired as a result of the shutdown. This could delay repairs or even cause these families to be evicted. This represents 5% of all Section 8 programs.
But the damage isn’t over. Another 500 contracts are set to expire by the end of January and 550 more by the end of February if the shutdown doesn’t end soon, according to an article by Suzy Khimm and Laura Strickler for NBC News.
And an article by Glenn Thrush for The New York Times outlines the stories of several families whose landlords have told them they must find a way to pay for their rent in full while the government is shut down, or face eviction.
While not all government agencies were affected by the government shutdown, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development was one of the hardest hit.