Chair Murray Remarks on Senate Consideration of Appropriations Package


***WATCH: Senator Murray's floor remarks***


Washington, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, spoke on the Senate floor about the first three appropriations bills on the floor and the Senate's consideration of the package after the Senate voted 85-12 on Tuesday to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to the bills.


Senator Murray’s full floor remarks, as delivered, are below:

“Mr. President, I want to start today by thanking Senator Collins once again, for her partnership in putting together the package that we are now considering.

“I’m very pleased she was able to join me on the floor yesterday as we both spoke about the effort that has gone into getting this bill off the ground.

“So at risk of repeating myself, I’d like to speak again about how we crafted the bills before us, and urge all my colleagues to join us to debate and advance this package.

“Today, we are doing something that many Senators have been calling for, for quite some time—something Senator Collins and I have been hearing about from our colleagues since the moment we took over leadership of the Appropriations Committee.

“We are keeping our foot on the gas as we continue returning the Appropriations process to regular order for the first time in years.

“Last night, we began the process to allow the Senate to consider a legislative package of three strongly bipartisan funding bills.

“And let me just say this again: getting here was no easy feat—and I’m grateful to my partner on the Appropriations Committee Vice Chair Collins, for working with me to make this happen, and to all of our members, especially the subcommittee chairs who worked on the bills in the package before us today.

“Senator Collins and I knew from the start that if we wanted this to work, we had to write serious, bipartisan funding bills that can actually be signed into law.

“As I said yesterday, that meant a few things. First of all, we are going to have to abide by the topline numbers that were set in the debt limit deal. And I have shared my personal concerns about that limit before… and they have meant some tough choices, because that was agreed on by the House and the Senate for all of us in these bills.

“But President Biden and Speaker McCarthy shook hands. They shook hands, and we passed this deal in Congress in a bipartisan way…

“So the reality is—we can’t produce serious bills if we start by throwing that bipartisan framework out the window.

“So we didn’t do that. We worked within that framework, and I pushed at every stage of this process with my colleagues to make sure we produced the strongest possible bills under those circumstances.

“Because we simply have to move forward, not back.

“Secondly, we understood we were going to have to work together to find common ground—including on some very tough and thorny issues—and compromise where necessary to produce spending bills that can make it through both chambers and to the President’s desk.

“That meant avoiding poison pills that could sink these bills.

“And third—we understood it was important that we give each and every one of our colleagues the chance to weigh in on these bills, and the American public the chance to see us work on them. So, we held over 40 hearings this spring to assess our nation’s needs for the year ahead.

“We sought input from all of our colleagues—including requests for Congressionally Directed Spending so members could advocate for projects that they know are crucial to their states. 

“And then, we held markups with debate, and amendments from members on both sides. And we actually televised the markups, for the first time ever—so people could follow this debate from home.

“The result is that we passed all 12 of our funding bills out of Committee for the first time in five years. And we did it with overwhelming bipartisan support.

“In fact, all three of the bills that are included in the package we’re now considering passed the Committee unanimously.

“So, as I detailed in my remarks yesterday, these bill provide essential investments for programs that all of our communities rely on.

“The Milcon-VA bill provides funding to  shore up our military installations and improve quality of life for our servicemembers, and to make sure we live up to our obligation to get our veterans the care they need.

“The Ag-FDA bill funds programs that are critical to making sure our food supply is safe and secure, getting families the support they need to put dinner on the table, and helping our farmers to stay ahead of global competition.

“And the THUD bill, the third one, provides crucial investments to help keep people living in their homes—not on the streets—and to ensure we can get people and goods quickly and safely where they need to go.

“I look forward to saying even more about each of these bills and how these investments are crucial to supporting our families, and growing our economy, and securing our future as we continue debate on this package.

“And, just as importantly, I look forward to hearing from all of our colleagues during this time as well.

“Mr. President, I hope that everyone will come to the floor to talk about these bills, what they will mean for your state, for your constituents, what your priorities here are.

“And I invite all of our colleagues to talk to me and Senator Collins if you have amendments and ideas for how we can make these bills even better. Because Senator Collins and I are working now to clear a managers’ package and set up votes. Our staffs are still working hard too, and we are happy to work with your teams—all of your teams—so we can pass the strongest bills possible.

“We have been working closely together from day one to run an open, bipartisan process, to get input from all of our colleagues, and to make sure that everyone can make their constituents’ voices heard.

“We know our work is not done yet. But we are committed to showing the American people that this place can actually work.

“That members with different viewpoints can actually come together, in a timely, responsible way, to get our communities the resources they need, and to help people and solve problems—which is why so many of us got into politics in the first place.

“The American people are watching, Mr. President. Let’s show them we are listening.

“Let’s pass this package and continue to get our job here done.

“This summer, we produced a bipartisan roadmap to fund the government with serious bills that can actually be signed into law— I’m glad here in the Senate we are moving right ahead with several of these bills now. I urge our colleagues to work with us to get this done.”