You may know the feeling — turning on the TV, perched at the edge of your seat, absorbing that special frenetic energy that intensifies as the clocks inches closer to midnight. You know, all around the country, people just like you are asking the same question: will Congress pass that appropriations bill? Of course, it’s not the bill you really care about. You need to know if it passes, because if it doesn’t, the government will shut down.
There were 17 government shutdowns between 1976 and mid-2013. Many happened when Congress couldn't come to an agreement over a major budgetary decision. If passed, this bill would put an end to the threat of government shutdowns in these – and any other – situations.
Instead of instituting a full or partial shutdown of the government in the absence of a negotiation, this bill would initiate an automatic continuous resolution of the previously agreed-up budget. This would continue until Congress can reach a decision, keeping the government open for business. After 120 days, the government would begin to gradually lose funding, urging Congress to reach a decision.