Lawmakers seek to end specter of government shutdowns

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (NEXSTAR) — Another government shutdown could be upon us in just 10 days when funding for the country runs out unless Congress passes a spending bill.

But some lawmakers said it’s time to end the specter of a shutdown once and for all.

Memories of last year’s partial government shutdown are still fresh in Washington.

“It cost foreclosures, it cost evictions, it cost families to go to payday lenders,” said Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH).

Now another shutdown could hit Nov. 21.

“There’s nothing good about them, so we should eliminate them,” said Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI).

Johnson supports the Government Shutdown Prevention Act, which continues funding at current levels if a new spending bill isn’t passed.

“So we’re continuing to work with Republican members and Democratic members that really do not want to see government shutdowns any time in the future,” Johnson said.

Virginia Democratic Sen. Mark Warner introduced something similar called the “Stop Stupidity Act.”

“If the government shuts down, the rest of the government would continue to operate,” Warner said. “The only people who wouldn’t get paid would be Congress, my staff, its staff, The White House and its staff.”

But like so much in Washington, those ideas haven’t passed, even though many in Congress said a shutdown does nothing good for the country.

“Neither side is willing to agree yet, at this point in time, but we have shown strong bipartisan support,” Johnson said.

A recent Congressional study showed the last five shutdowns cost the country a combined $4 billion.

While a shutdown has long been a tool of political leverage, some lawmakers said it’s time for it to go.

“I still think what we need to do is pass legislation that’s maybe not very popular here on the Hill, but I think would make great sense,” Warner said.

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