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Graham Pitches Anti-Government Shutdown Bill, Stays Mum About Senate Bid

Congresswoman Gwen Graham says she'll file a bill to prevent government shutdowns.

North Florida Congresswoman Gwen Graham is pitching a plan to avert a government shutdown if Congress can’t reach a budget deal in December.

Within 24 hours before a shutdown, Graham’s bill would let any member propose a 30-day funding plan. If the plan got through, Congressional travel funds would be frozen, there would be no recess and weekends would be restricted to only  two days.

“It would require congress to do its job," she said. "To sit down, be together and create a budget, which is the budget we should be doing without having something like the shutdown prevention measure in place.”

Congress recently reached a short-term budget deal to keep the federal agencies operating through December. But U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew says the federal government will hit its borrowing limit in early November—which would make it very hard for the U.S. to pay bills.

Meanwhile, Graham is staying quiet about her future plans. That’s even as a Leon County Judge weighs several redistricting maps that could draw Graham out of her current district. Polls suggest Graham could be a Democratic favorite if she chose to run for the U.S. Senate. But Graham says she’s focused on the job she has now.

“That’s what I’m focused on. I work hard every day to build the bi-partisan relationships, support good legislation and help the people back here in the district," she said.

Graham has disappointed some of her democratic constituents who take issue with her tendency to break from the party on issues like the Keystone pipeline, which she supports. Congressional redistricting scenarios could leave in Graham having to run in a far more conservative district, or having to run against fellow Democratic Congresswoman Corrine Brown.

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Lynn Hatter is a Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas.  She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative. 

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