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KRMG In-Depth: Senator James Lankford co-authors bill to end government shutdowns permanently

U.S. Senator James Lankford

TULSA — As the battle over a possible government shutdown entered its final stages Friday, Oklahoma U.S. Senator James Lankford stood on the Senate floor to talk about ending the threat of such shutdowns permanently.

He and Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH) co-wrote the Prevent Government Shutdowns Act about five years ago, though it was reintroduced in January.

[Hear the KRMG In-Depth Report on the Prevent Government Shutdowns Act HERE]

Lankford explained that the bill would provide an strategy similar to one his mother used to resolve disputes between himself and his brother, back in the day - by limiting their options.

“Our simple idea was this: If you don’t finish your work during class, you have to stay after class to finish your work. It’s just not that hard. It’s something all of us experienced growing up in school,” Lankford said Friday. “If I can make it even simpler - when my older brother and I would get into an argument, my mom would put the two of us in a room, and would say ‘you two guys have got to go in this room. Once you solve everything, then you can come out.’”

So the PGS Act would require Congress remain in session, seven days a week, and work on nothing but appropriations bills, until a budget gets approved.

The proposed law would also sharply limit taxpayer-funded travel, and specifically would limit Congress members and their staff to one flight for the duration - a flight into D.C.

The bill was assigned to the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee in January, but has not yet been heard.


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