Kaptur Delivers Floor Speech as Democrats Move to Extend Government Funding and Avoid a Harmful Shutdown
Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-9) today gave the following floor speech during general debate on H.R. 4378, a seven-week continuing resolution. This bill extends federal government funding through November 21, keeping the government open and avoiding another harmful government shutdown. The legislation passed the House on a vote of 301-123 and now moves to the Senate.
I would like to thank Chairwoman Lowey for her great leadership. It is with great reluctance that I rise in support of today’s short-term continuing resolution and urge my colleagues to so as well. While this Continuing Resolution will keep the lights on for the government of the United States, surely this isn’t the most responsible course of action we could follow.
This extension of current funding means federal agencies are effectively forced to operate on autopilot. They can’t begin any new programs or respond to shifting priorities. To force our nation’s government to once again operate on a continuing resolution has been railed against by our Republican friends as particularly problematic for the Pentagon – and they are right.
But it is the lack of action from our Senate Republican colleagues who deep sixed their fiscal responsibility and their leadership that brought us here today.
I commend Chairwoman Lowey’s real leadership, and Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Hoyer for their prioritization and passage in the House of 10 of the 12 annual Appropriations spending bills. But what has the Senate achieved? Very little.
Despite Democratic warnings for months about the need for a bipartisan budget agreement, it took until July to settle on top-line numbers. Only this very month were our Senate colleagues willing to advance their first bills.
Why you might ask? Because they are beholden to the White House. But this White House has consistently demonstrated its lack of regard for the federal budgeting process itself, for Congress’s Constitutional power of the purse, and for the Constitutional separation of powers when it comes to federal funding decisions.
So, I suppose there is a bit of time to right this ship of state, but it will take real courage from Congressional Republicans to separate themselves from the irresponsible campaign promises of the President. It will take serious commitment in the Senate to produce bills that can be conferenced with our House versions. And by November 21, it will take bipartisan responsibility to support this body’s highest priority to fund the entire federal government for the remaining Fiscal Year 2020.
I urge my colleagues to support this short-term resolution, and demand our Republican colleagues get serious about reasonable expectations in a divided government. Let us compromise, let us govern, as the people of the United States expect.