September 30, 2023

STATEMENT: Institute for Responsive Government Commends Congress on Putting Partisanship Aside to End Shutdown

Shutdown would have impacted millions of federal employees, impaired critical government programs, and halted pay for military troops

For Immediate Release:
September 30, 2023


Chicago, IL — Earlier this afternoon, the United States Congress passed a short-term spending resolution to keep the government open over the next month and a half. Had this compromise not happened, the U.S. government would have shut down early Sunday morning. The shutdown could have had grave repercussions for over a million federal employees and military troops; key government services like food assistance, air travel security, and IRS functions; and the U.S. economy at large. 

The shutdown would have been due largely to a minority faction of the House of Representatives that supports deep cuts to critical government programs. This group refused to negotiate on several spending proposals introduced to fund the federal government in the weeks leading up to the budget deadline, threatening Representative Kevin McCarthy with removal from his position as House Speaker if he took steps to reach a bipartisan agreement. 

Sam Oliker-Friedland, executive director of the Institute for Responsive Government, issued the following statement:

“Our representatives in Congress swore a duty to serve the American people. Partisanship should never get in the way of that, and the House of Representatives proved that today.”

“Many of the elected officials who were willing to subvert our democracy in 2022 by casting doubt on the integrity of our elections and wrongfully refusing to certify election results are some of the same individuals who were willing to bring our federal government to a standstill – at the expense of millions of Americans and the vital government programs they rely on.”

“Now, thanks to the work of bipartisanship in the final hour, countless federal employees who work tirelessly day in and day out to serve our communities will be able to continue to serve the American public.”

“There are so many opportunities in Congress for bipartisan agreement, from building and supporting government programs that are responsive and efficient, to ensuring secure, accessible elections for all eligible citizens. Bipartisanship played a key role in getting this short-term resolution over the line, and it’s bipartisanship that will allow Congress to come to a reasonable consensus to ensure we don’t face the same dangerous threats of hardliners in 45 short days from today.”

To speak with Sam Oliker-Friedland about the repercussions of the government shutdown, please contact


The Institute for Responsive Government is a nonpartisan nonprofit dedicated to ensuring state and federal governments work effectively for the very people they serve. IRG provides data, research, and expertise to elected officials in order to find practical policy solutions that make government systems more efficient, accessible, and responsive.