Fitzpatrick, Murphy Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Keep Congress Working During Shutdowns

With only days before a critical funding deadline, the Fitzpatrick-Murphy bill would keep Congress in session and working until a deal is struck

February 13, 2019

With only days before a critical government funding deadline, Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01) and Stephanie Murphy (FL-07) bipartisan legislation that would require all Members of Congress to do their job by staying in Washington to work during a government shutdown. The bipartisan Keep Congress Working Act would require Congress to remain in session and work if the government is shut down. The last government shutdown lasted a record-breaking 35 days, costing American taxpayers more than $3 billion and forcing thousands of federal workers to struggle to make ends meet after weeks without pay. During the last shutdown, Congress was in recess for roughly 27 days.

“It’s the basic duty of Congress to fund the federal government. Shutdowns disrupt government services, compromise national security, and cause uncertainty for federal employees. Critical funding for programs like the Violence Against Women Act lapse. Congress should follow the way the American people run their businesses and manage their families: lead by example to build consensus and solve problems in a dignified, honorable manner,” said Fitzpatrick.

“No business in America would tell its leaders to pack up and go home in the middle of a crisis. It is irresponsible to ignore our duty to govern while a shutdown remains unresolved. When Congress fails to do its most basic responsibility of funding the government, it should be forced to keep working until both sides can agree to a sensible solution. This bipartisan legislation would simply ask Congress to do the bare minimum—stay in town and work around the clock until the job is done,” said Murphy.

The Keep Government Working Act would prevent Congressional leaders from concluding legislative business for more than 12 hours if the government is not funded either in part or as a whole. The full text of the bill can be found here.