WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.), Chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, spoke on the Senate floor about the deal to reopen the federal government and allow the nation to pay its bills. Highlights of the speech as well as audio and video downloads are available below:
"I come to the Floor today with both a great deal of energy and a sense of relief. Relief that it appears that we've reached a bipartisan agreement to reopen the government, pay America's bills, and give us a path forward to deal with the ability to negotiate on some of our long-term fiscal challenges. I come with a sense of energy because I think it shows that when there is a will, we find a way, and this seems to be a sensible approach to do this. I have a sense of optimism that the spirit of compromise that produced this new agreement will continue in the senate as we work together."
"I'm pleased that there has been a commitment from the leaders to appoint conferees on the Budget Resolution so that the Budget Committee can do its work and give back to we appropriators, no later than December 13, what our cap is for spending for the entire 2014 fiscal year. If we can do that, we appropriators can do our job."
"I believe America wants us to get on with it. Americans want to be able to have a government that they can count on. They want to be able to have a government that works as hard as they do. And they want to have a United States Congress that acts really in the interest of the nation and of the next generation and not of the next election. So, Mr. President, I'm ready to vote for the agreement arrived at by our leadership. I'm ready to go to work, and I'm ready to do everything I can to make sure that we follow the middle of the road, that sensible center, and to make sure the American middle class has their day and their say."
Download audio here.
Download video here.