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Arlington, VA – In response to reports of a short-term continuing resolution to avoid a government shutdown, AFP senior fellow of fiscal policy Kurt Couchman issued the following statement:
“Recent coverage of a possible government shutdown too often overlooks the broken federal budget system. Congress needs a comprehensive and deliberative approach to setting federal budget priorities instead of today’s pattern of lurching from crisis to crisis. The American people deserve better than massive waste, frustration, debt, and other bad outcomes. Regularly taking the country to the brink of shutdowns should be a red flashing signal of a dysfunctional system, but it’s become standard procedure.
“Failure to control spending and debt—over the last 15 years but especially during the pandemic—created today’s inflation crisis and broader economic turmoil. The good news is that Congress can fix this.
“We need Congress to adopt and stick to reasonable budget targets. Meeting those targets will require Congress to do a real budget each year that includes all spending and revenue so the people’s representatives can set priorities holistically. And when it comes to government shutdowns, it’s long past time to return to standard practice before 1980 when programs carried on at status quo levels instead of shutting down. These and related fixes can help us escape political and economic dysfunction and let us beat inflation by working together.”
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