Partnership for Public Service statement on the passage of a continuing resolution and avoidance of a government shutdown

October 1, 2021

WASHINGTON – The nonpartisan, nonprofit Partnership for Public Service today released the following statement from President and CEO Max Stier after President Joe Biden signed the continuing resolution extending funding through Dec. 3, 2021, avoiding a government shutdown. 

“While a shutdown would have had disastrous consequences for the country, the reliance on yet another continuing resolution indicates a recurring breakdown in the regular appropriations process that hurts the functioning of our government,” said Stier. “When faced with the threat of a shutdown, federal agencies lose valuable time and resources doing contingency planning. The work carried out by our government is too important for this regular disruption and constant uncertainty. 

“We can’t accept the passage of continuing resolutions as normal. Since the Carter administration, we’ve had 21 shutdowns of a day or longer, and the last time that all 12 regular appropriations bills were completed by the October 1 deadline was in 1997. Even when averted by passage of short-term spending bills, just the threat of a shutdown derails important work and contributes to loss of public trust in our government. 

“We need a larger conversation about ending this dysfunctional cycle, and Congress should take legislative action so that we avoid the wasted resources and inefficiencies caused by the threat of shutdowns. Otherwise, this CR just kicks the can down the road. The longer we postpone taking action to address it, the bigger this issue will become. 

“Senators Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) and James Lankford (R-Okla.) have introduced a bill, the Prevent Government Shutdowns Act, that would implement mechanisms to prevent shutdowns, incentivize government funding per set deadlines and address funding uncertainty. This is a step in the right direction.” 

The Partnership has extensively studied the significant threats posed by government shutdowns and the reliance on continuing resolutions. See the Partnership’s 2019 report on the effects of the most recent 35-day shutdown, and 2015 study on how uncertainty in the government funding process harms our democracy. 

During the past 20 years, the nonpartisan, nonprofit Partnership for Public Service has been dedicated to making the federal government more effective. We work across administrations to help transform the way government operates by increasing collaboration, accountability, efficiency and innovation. Visit ourpublicservice.org to learn more. Follow us on social @PublicService and subscribe today to get the latest federal news, information on upcoming Partnership programs and events, and more.    

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Publication Type: News Release

Tags: continuing resolution,government shutdown