South Dakota Representative Johnson works to avoid government shutdown

The late evening news on KEVN Black Hills Fox Monday-Friday
Published: Sep. 20, 2023 at 10:31 AM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Every year, congress passes appropriation bills setting the spending levels for each federal agency. With the federal fiscal year starting Oct. 1, the deadline is fast approaching to pass those bills and avoid a government shutdown.

“The Senate and the House have drastically different ideas on how our government should be funded,” said South Dakota’s lone representative, Dusty Johnson.

According to CNN, the last time the United States Federal Government shutdown was the end of December 2018. That lasted for 35 days, the longest reported government shutdown in history.

“Government shutdowns are stupid. They hurt real Americans. When they can’t look to their federal government at the IRS, or the Veterans Affairs or Indian health or at TSA, or at the military, or at the national parks, when those things aren’t open, that’s a problem for America. The politicians aren’t hurt during a shutdown. Now I won’t be taking my paycheck during the shutdown but I can assure you many of other politicians will be,” Johnson said.

The 2018 to 2019 shutdown resulted in around 380,000 federal employees being laid off, and another 420,000 continuing to work but not receiving pay until the shutdown ended.

However, some people think the shutdown might be a good thing, forcing the Senate and House to work together.

“I think its about time we shut down the government to get both sides talking, because obviously its one side against the other, and we need to get them to talk together, so that’s why we need to shut it down,” said one individual.

“I say shut it down. Get rid of most of Congress and the Senate, start all over with the Constitution and do it right this time,” said another individual.

Johnson says he has proposed a bill that would focus on securing the Mexican/American border, but would also give Congress an extra 30 days to come to a decision and hopefully avoid a shutdown.

“We need to get our work done here in Congress. It’s time for the big boys and big girls to step up, roll up their sleeves and take the next 30 days to actually do their work. My bill would make sure that we secure the border, and provide enough time so that we can get a return to fiscal responsibility,” continued Johnson.

Currently, Johnson is working on this bill with the top three leaders of the Freedom Caucus, as well as the other top two leaders of the Main Street Caucus, with hopes that the bill will be passed on Thursday.

“The speaker has said that he expects that we will vote on the bill on Thursday. It’s not going to be easy to get the votes. Ultimately I think most of my colleagues will understand the importance of getting that border secure, and making sure that we don’t shut down the government. Again shutdowns are stupid and a border that’s out of control, that’s stupid too,” Johnson said.