Murray and Collins Kick Off Consideration of First Appropriations Bills on the Senate Floor
Senate voted 85-12 this afternoon to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to first three appropriations bills on the Senate floor, commencing debate on the package
***WATCH SENATOR MURRAY’S FLOOR REMARKS HERE***
***WATCH SENATOR COLLINS’ FLOOR REMARKS HERE***
Washington, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and U.S. Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), Chair and Vice Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee respectively, spoke on the Senate floor, kicking off consideration of the first three appropriations bills on the Senate floor after the Senate voted 85-12 to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to the package.
The legislative package now being considered by the full Senate includes: the Fiscal Year 2024 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies; Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies; and Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies appropriations bills—all of which passed out of Committee unanimously.
“We should come together, look for common ground, and build on it to write bills that solve problems, make people’s lives better, and give our nation and our communities the resources they need to stay safe and competitive—to grow and to thrive,” said Chair Murray. “That’s exactly what the three bills in this package do.”
“This was never going to be easy—but none of us came here because we thought it was easy; we came here because we wanted to make life better for the folks back home,” continued Chair Murray. “Helping people and solving problems—that’s our job, and I’d like to see us do a lot more of that—together, Democrats and Republicans. So I urge all of my colleagues: let’s keep the momentum going. Let’s show the American people that Congress can work for them—there doesn’t have to be a calamity over funding the government. Let’s show that there can, and will, be major policy disagreements on any number of issues, but their elected leaders can come together on what we do agree on—and we will fund the government responsibly so that they don’t have to worry about chaos or shutdowns.”
Click here to read Senator Murray’s full remarks.
“When Chair Murray and I took the helm of the Appropriations Committee at the beginning of the year, we set forth the goal of returning regular order to the appropriations process,” said Vice Chair Collins. “The result, for the first time in five years, the Senate Appropriations Committee has reported each and every one of the twelve Appropriations bills. All of them passed with strong bipartisan support. Today, we take the next important step in restoring deliberation to the appropriations process, as we bring the first package of funding bills to the Senate floor.”
“The choice before the Senate is clear. Do we want to pass, with amendments, carefully considered funding bills? Or do we want to default to either, an omnibus bill, many thousands of pages long and with very little transparency, or worse, a year-long resolution that funds programs that are no longer needed, prevents new programs from starting up, wastes taxpayer dollars, and is subject to indiscriminate cuts?” continued Vice Chair Collins. “The choice is very clear. The Senate should proceed to debate, consider amendments, and pass the appropriations bills.”
Click here to read Senator Collins’ full remarks.
Under Chair Murray and Vice Chair Collins’ leadership, the Committee conducted its first full committee markup in two years this summer and successfully reported all twelve individual appropriations bills out of Committee for the first time in five years.
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