Dem Senator Introduces “Stop STUPIDITY Act” Aimed at Preventing Future Shutdowns

Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) has introduced the aptly titled Stop STUPIDITY Act, which would automatically keep all of the federal government running in the case of a future funding snafu, with the exceptions of the legislative branch and the Executive Office of the President.

“The Stop STUPIDITY Act takes the aggressive but necessary step of forcing the president and Congress to do the jobs they were elected to do,” Warner said in a statement. “Workers, business owners and tax payers are currently paying the price of D.C. gridlock and my legislation will put an end to that.”

STUPIDITY is an acronym for Shutdowns Transferring Unnecessary Pain and Inflicting Damage In The Coming Years. (“Some might quibble about leaving out the “c” in ‘coming,'” observes MSNBC’s Steve Benen, “but let’s be generous and say Warner and his team were close enough.

“That’s a mouthful,” according to Richmond Times-Dispatch political columnist Jeff E. Schapiro, but it’s fitting, considering how long the current government shutdown––now in its 33rd day––has gone on.

“It’s hard to say with any confidence whether a bill like this might pass, though it’s worth emphasizing that there’s nothing inherently partisan or ideological about the ‘Stop STUPIDITY Act,'” notes Benen. “Republican presidents would no longer be able to leverage federal workers as hostages, but neither would Democratic presidents. For policymakers to fight against an idea like this is to effectively argue that extortion tactics must remain an option. It’s the same argument proponents of debt-ceiling crises embrace: radical leaders should maintain the ability to take American hostages when it suits their purposes.”

The Senate will take two key votes tomorrow on competing proposals aimed at ending the shutdown. The proposal backed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) includes a provision to fund President Donald Trump’s border wall and reopen shuttered parts of the government. The Democratic proposal would reopen the government without providing new funding for the wall. Both proposals are expected to fail because both would need 60 votes to advance.

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