Comment of Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on the Continuing Resolution to Fund the Government Through Dec. 16

Funding the federal government is the most basic responsibility of Congress.  This bill will keep vital services running for the American people through December 16 and provide critical support for Ukraine while we negotiate a bipartisan, bicameral omnibus appropriations bill.  Enacting full year appropriations bills into law must be our top priority.  In a time of rising inflation, when everything costs more – energy, food, fuel, housing – we must respond accordingly.  Running on autopilot after December would be irresponsible. 

In the meantime, I am glad that this bill contains critical resources to help communities recovering from natural disasters.  States that have been hit with disasters cannot wait until the end of the year to begin rebuilding their communities.  I am also proud to have secured $1 billion in this bill in new funding for LIHEAP ahead of the winter.  As many families face rising energy costs, we must act now to help ensure they are able to heat their homes in the cold days to come.  However, I am disappointed that unrelated permitting reform was attached to this bill.  This is a controversial matter that should be debated on its own merits.  However, with four days left in the fiscal year, we cannot risk a government shutdown; we must work to advance this bill.   

As Chairman, I remain committed to completing the work of the Appropriations Committee before the end of this Congress.  Kicking the can further down the road will only delay funding for programs the American people rely on while costing them more in the long run.  Congress can and should do its job and complete the appropriations process before the end of the year.  I look forward to working with Vice Chairman Shelby, Chair DeLauro and Ranking Member Granger to get this done.”

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