Senator Murray Announces Agreement To Move Forward on Milcon-VA, THUD, and Ag-FDA Appropriations Bills
Washington, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced a bipartisan agreement to proceed with amendment votes and final passage of the Senate appropriations minibus. The agreement tees up votes this week on a robust slate of amendments to and final passage of the appropriations package comprising the MilCon-VA, Agriculture-FDA, and Transportation-HUD bills—each of which passed Committee unanimously.
Senator Murray's remarks, as delivered, are below:
“After many discussions with members on both sides of the aisle about ensuring a robust amendment process and a final vote on this strong, bipartisan package of appropriation bills, I am pleased to say we have reached an agreement to finally get voting on the amendments and passage of this minibus.
“I want to thank everyone who has worked with me and the senior Senator from Maine so we can get this process moving again, to show the American people this place can actually work.
“That is so important—especially right now.
“Because over the last few weeks, the American people have seen a lot of chaos and dysfunction in Congress.
“And it has come at a time when the world needs to see U.S. leadership is still strong, because, Madame President, it’s not just the American people who are watching Congress right now.
“Our allies are watching, our adversaries are watching, we need to show them that we are still able to work together and solve problems, and respond effectively to the challenges of this moment.
“And this is an important opportunity to do just that.
“By passing this package, we can continue moving on our appropriations process, and we can show that by working together in a bipartisan way, you can actually get things done in a divided Congress.
“And that’s important—because there is a lot we absolutely have to get done.
“There is this first package of appropriations bills, there’s the rest of our appropriations bills, and the pressing need to address all sorts of urgent priorities, including supplemental funding to support our allies in Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan, to deliver additional disaster relief, address the worsening child care crisis, and more.
“And getting all of this done is going to require us to put aside our differences—and work together.
“By passing this minibus, we can show that Congress is still capable of doing that.
“Because this spending package is a prime example of what it looks like when Democrats and Republicans come together and focus on solving problems and helping people.
“It follows the bipartisan debt limit deal.
“It includes input from members across the country and across the political spectrum.
“And the bills in this package passed the Appropriations Committee unanimously.
“In other words—this is a serious, bipartisan legislation that can be signed into law.
“And it provides crucial resources to care for our veterans, fund military construction, to keep our food supply safe, to support our farmers, keep our travelers safe, invest in infrastructure, and a lot more.
“We should pass this bill, show we can still focus on solutions, find common ground, and help people like we were all sent here to do, and we can get our appropriations process back on track and continue our return to regular order—which I know so many Senators across the aisle and on this side have asked for.
“To every one of my colleagues who has said we need to move away from massive, end of year omnibuses: I agree. This is your chance to avoid one.
“If we don’t get this passed, we are giving up a crucial opportunity to make sure that the Senate has its voice heard on our nation’s spending priorities, and to make sure we don’t find ourselves at the end of the year once again staring down another omnibus.
“Madame President, just a few weeks ago, we were on the brink of a completely unnecessary government shutdown, before cooler heads prevailed, and the lesson from the near-shutdown should be clear: letting the loudest voices on the far right push for damaging cuts, and extreme, partisan policies is a road to disaster.
“Bipartisanship is the only way to get the job done in a divided government.
“Now, we need to remember the lessons as we continue working to pass our full appropriations bills, support our allies in Ukraine, Israel, and the Indo-Pacific region, shore up our disaster relief funds, and address the child care crisis, and more.
“So let’s send a message that Congress can actually work, and that we can actually work together.
“Let’s get things on track so we can avoid an omnibus, and address the urgent challenges we face.
“The American people are watching. The world is watching.
“And let’s be clear, our adversaries are cheering for dysfunction.
“Let’s show them unity.
“Let’s show them the strength of democracy.
“Let’s get this done —and then, let’s work together and get absolutely vital aide to our allies. Thank you.”
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