PARTNERSHIP FOR PUBLIC SERVICE URGES CONGRESS AND THE PRESIDENT TO REACH AN AGREEMENT TO FUND GOVERNMENT AND AVOID FUTURE SHUTDOWNS

February 6, 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 6, 2019

CONTACT: Onamé Thompson

202-775-6898

WASHINGTON – The nonprofit, nonpartisan Partnership for Public Service urges Congress and the White House to ensure our government is funded by midnight on Feb. 15 and avoid a repeat of the recent 35-day partial government shutdown, a disastrous political failure that greatly disrupted public services and caused immense harm to the country and the federal workforce.

“The recently released worldwide intelligence assessment provides a chilling list of dangers faced by the U.S. from foreign adversaries, but it did not cover a threat of our own making—the burning down of our own house with the recent partial government shutdown and the bleak prospect that it could happen all over again,” said Max Stier, Partnership president and CEO.

“It is imperative that Congress and the president reach a funding agreement by the February 15 deadline, but resolving the current crisis is not enough,” said Stier. “Congress also must take steps to guarantee we never again experience another government shutdown.”

The full negative impact of the 35-day shutdown, the longest in our nation’s history, can be seen in the Partnership’s 100 Reasons to Stop Future Government Shutdown stories. Each story details the great harm caused by the shutdown to our national security, the economy, the business community, law enforcement, transportation, public health, science and research, the national parks, Native Americans, the poor, the immigration system, the federal workforce and more.

The federal workforce in particular bore a great burden during the shutdown, with 800,000 civil servants being denied their paychecks while in many instances having to show up for work. The shutdown also caused a tremendous backlog of work affecting public services, dampened employee morale and created instability across federal agencies. During the shutdown, the hiring rate among government agencies slowed down nearly 50 percent while a sizable number of employees began looking for work in the private sector and aspiring candidates for government jobs were deterred from applying at all, according to published reports from LinkedIn, Indeed and Glassdoor. 

“Unfortunately, government shutdowns will continue to happen unless incentives and processes change,” said Stier. “To prevent future shutdowns, the Partnership believes that legislation should be passed to automatically provide for government funding to continue at existing spending levels when the deadline is not met to enact new year-long appropriations bills.”

“While this proposal could be misused to put government on autopilot or forestall spending on new programs, it could serve as a stopgap until Congress permanently fixes the badly broken budget and appropriations processes,” he continued.

Another option, according to the Partnership is to deny payment of salaries to Congress and the White House if the deadline is not met for keeping the government fully functioning.

“Ultimately, the best thing Congress can do for our country is pass spending bills on time. The status quo is unacceptable,” Stier said.

During the past 17 years, the nonpartisan, nonprofit Partnership for Public Service has been dedicated to making the federal government more effective for the American people. 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 @RPublicService 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

Publication Topic: Federal workforce,Shutdown