Cochran: Pass Bill to Fund Government Operations, Avoid Midnight Shutdown

(Video:  http://bit.ly/2glrkd3)

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) today urged Senate adoption of legislation to keep the federal government open and fund urgent priorities around the nation.

In a speech to the Senate, Cochran highlighted funding in the Further Continuing and Security Assistance Appropriations Act, 2017 (HR.2028) for the Armed Forces, disaster recovery, and efforts to combat opioid abuse.  The Senate has until midnight to pass the resolution in order to avoid a partial government shutdown.  The measure was approved Thursday by the House of Representatives on a 326-96 vote.

The following are Cochran’s remarks:

Mr. President, this resolution will provide government funding through April 28th at the level prescribed in last year’s budget agreement.

I urge the Senate to support the resolution.

It provides funding to continue counterterrorism operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria.  It supports our allies through the European Reassurance Initiative.  It includes funding for humanitarian assistance and to protect American diplomats.

The resolution also funds important priorities here at home.  It appropriates $872 million to fight opioid abuse and support innovative cancer research.  These funds will begin to implement the CURES Act, which the Senate passed earlier this week by a vote of 94 to 5.

The resolution also contains funding to respond to Hurricane Matthew, severe flooding in Louisiana, and other recent natural disasters.  In total, $4.1 billion is available under this bill and will be allocated to recovery programs that benefit 45 states.

The resolution also provides funding to help Flint, Michigan, respond to the contamination of tis water supply, and to help communities around the country provide safe drinking water.

Mr. President, I urge the adoption of this resolution.