Senator Murray on Overwhelming Passage of Senate Minibus, Next Steps for Appropriations
ICYMI: Senate Passes Bipartisan Funding Package in 82-15 Vote – MORE HERE
***WATCH: Senator Murray's floor remarks***
Washington, D.C. — Today, following Senate passage of the MilCon-VA, Agriculture-FDA, and Transportation-HUD appropriations bills, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, delivered the following remarks on the Senate floor about the Senate’s passage of the package and next steps for appropriations:
“Thank you, M. President. What we’ve done today is really important and I want to thank everyone who helped us get here: my Vice Chair—the senior senator from Maine, our subcommittee leaders, the Senators from Arkansas, New Mexico, North Dakota, Hawaii, and Mississippi, all of our colleagues who worked to craft and strengthen these bills, Senate leadership, and of course, my tireless staff who have met every challenge this process has thrown at us.
“Today, months of hard work paid off. We just passed a strong, bipartisan spending package—the only bipartisan spending bills in Congress, by the way—and we did it in a 82-15 vote.
“So let’s be crystal clear about what this means.
“Unlike the funding measures we’ve seen pushed through the House, these are three serious, bipartisan bills that can actually be signed into law.
“They are the product of months of hard work, careful negotiation, and thoughtful input, from members on both sides of the aisle.
“They stick to the spending levels that House Republicans and President Biden negotiated and that we all passed into law this spring.
“And despite the tough funding constraints, these bills move our country forward—not back—with important investments to keep our promise to our nation’s veterans, to get Americans where they need to go safely, to increase our housing supply, address the homelessness crisis, support our farmers and ranchers, keep American families healthy and safe, and much more.
“What we have done here—finding common ground to produce reasonable, bipartisan bills—is not just a template, it is the only way to get our jobs done in a divided government.
“There’s a clear lesson from the last few months here in Congress and it is that we must work together, not retreat to extreme, partisan corners.
“Let’s be clear to my colleagues—we have a lot more work to do.
“Our mission here isn’t just to send a message or pass a bill through the Senate.
“We’ve got to work to get these bills signed into law.
“And I don’t just mean these investments—but crucial funding in all of our bipartisan appropriations bills.
“While we may need another CR before our work is done, we absolutely have to remember—long-term CRs are no way to govern and they certainly are no way to lead.
“When we operate on long-term CRs, our agencies are stuck in neutral; they cannot plan for the future, they have to delay initiatives and investments, and they are far less equipped to meet the pressing challenges we face.
“Governing by CR hurts families who need a government that works reliably, seriously stunts our economy and American innovation, and dangerously impedes our national security.
“I think we all know that our competitors across the world are not putting their budgets on autopilot.
“They are doing everything they can to get ahead, and they are hoping we fall behind and fall into the chaos of partisan infighting.
“We cannot let that happen.
“We need to pass full-year funding, with the investments we need to keep the U.S. strong, safe, and competitive—especially in a moment that truly calls for American leadership.
“There’s no question we’ve got our work cut out for us, but today, we have shown a clear roadmap for how we can get our work done.
“So I am talking with my Vice Chair about the next set of bills we’ll work to move in the Senate, and continuing work to move a comprehensive, bipartisan supplemental funding package.
“And we need to start conferencing our appropriations bills.
“And Mr. President, that will require House Republicans to get serious about governing, get back to the spending agreement they negotiated, and work with us to finalize bipartisan bills that meet this moment and address the needs of our families.
“But it’s critical that happens—because we don’t have time to waste.
“The clock is ticking, and the American people are tired of watching Congress wait to the last second, before kicking the can down the road.
“Our constituents don’t want to see chaos.
“They don’t want to see shutdown threats.
“And they don’t want to see our country’s future limited by CRs.
“They do want to see their elected officials roll up their sleeves, sit down at the table, and do the hard work of governing to help people, and solve problems.
“That is what we have done today.
“So let’s get to it—and let’s be quick about it.
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