McConnell 'Open' to Legislation to Prevent Future Government Shutdowns

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Posted: Jan 29, 2019 4:15 PM
McConnell 'Open' to Legislation to Prevent Future Government Shutdowns

Source: AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) told reporters Tuesday that he’s open to legislation that would prevent future government shutdowns after the longest government shutdown in history ended last week.

"I don't like shutdowns,” he said. “I don't think they work for anybody and I hope they will be avoided. I'd be open to anything that we could agree on on a bipartisan basis that would make them pretty hard to occur again." 

“There’s some differences about how to craft that but I’m certainly open to it,” he said, calling shutdowns “an example of government dysfunction which should be embarrassing to everyone on a bipartisan basis.”

There are currently two competing bills to prevent government shutdowns. One was introduced by Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) originally in April 2017 and the other by Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA).

Sen. Portman's bill would reduce government funding by 1 percent after 120 days and the funding would be reduced again after another 90 days if Congress failed to reach a deal.

Sen. Warner's proposal would keep funding from the legislative branch and Executive Office of the President in order to force lawmakers to negotiate.

Congress must reach a deal to avoid another partial government shutdown by February 15th.

When asked about bipartisan talks to end the shutdown and whether they should be narrowly focused on border security, McConnell replied, "I'm for narrow. I'm for broader. I'm for whatever works to prevent a level of dysfunction we've seen on full display here the last month."

McConnell added that he also wants to avoid President Trump declaring a national emergency to build a border wall without approval from Congress.