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Automatic Continuing Resolution Option

Whew. What a relief. The federal government didn't shut down in April 2011. Lawmakers and the president went right up to the brink and in the end did not choose to relive 1995 and 1996 when the government went through two shutdowns, one lasting five days and the other 21 days.

People didn't have to worry about whether they'd get their Social Security checks. Federal employees didn't have to worry about whether they'd get paid.

The bottom line is that this is no way to run a government. But as they say, democracy is messy. Is there a solution to this constant worrying about government shutdowns and whether Congress will keep the government funded?

Yes, but it is not universally liked and so it has not been embraced by a majority of the members of Congress. It's a so-called Automatic Continuing Resolution.

Here's what would happen if this plan was made a law.  If in the future Congress failed to pass legislation in time to keep th...

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