Senator Murray Speaks on Senate Passage of CR to Prevent Needless Shutdown—and Path Ahead for Appropriations
***WATCH: Senator Murray’s floor remarks***
Washington, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, spoke on the Senate floor after the Senate’s overwhelming passage of legislation to avert a needless government shutdown and underscored her commitment to delivering on other essential priorities—including supporting Ukraine—in the weeks ahead.
Senator Murray’s full remarks, as delivered, are below:
“M. President, I have been down here all week saying again and again that the only way we can avoid a shutdown is a CR that can get bipartisan support to quickly pass the House and Senate.
“And I have been working nonstop to pass the common sense, bipartisan CR that I put together with my colleagues across the aisle.
“But tonight, we had a bill from the House that passed in a bipartisan way—with nearly every House Democrat voting in support, and I am now glad the Senate has been able to pass it as well and get it to the President’s desk for his signature.
“This bill does not contain the devastating cuts House Republicans were pushing just yesterday.
“It does not contain the ineffective, partisan border provisions they were demanding.
“So M. President: there were good reasons to vote for it.
“First and foremost: it will prevent a senseless government shutdown—one that House Republicans have been pushing us toward for weeks.
“But this bill also meets the President’s full request for disaster relief funds—and that’s good and that’s important to so many of us.
“It will ensure that our brave federal firefighters don’t see a drastic pay cut.
“And it maintains current funding levels through November 17.
“We know a CR is never a good long-term policy outcome, but it is certainly good to see that some House Republicans have—at least for this very moment—given up on the fruitless and cruel cuts that they were demanding just yesterday.
“It’s good to see some of those members coming to their senses.
“But we have also got to be clear about where this bill falls seriously short, why found ourselves in this moment, and how House Republicans’ recklessness has caused so much unnecessary chaos.
“Because, let’s be clear, there is a lot of work left to do now that we have passed this bill.
“First, we have to absolutely do more to support our allies in Ukraine.
“Dictators across the world are watching. Will we stand with democracy?
“I say yes: the Senate absolutely will stand with our friends in Ukraine as they continue to defend themselves against Putin’s brutal invasion!
“Because continuing to support Ukraine is not just about addressing a humanitarian crisis—it is also about our own national security and what kind of world we want to live in.
“It is in America’s national security interests to send a strong message to dictators like Putin that they cannot just invade a sovereign nation and steamroll democracy wherever and whenever they want.
“And let’s make sure we are crystal clear about this: there are strong bipartisan super majorities in both chambers that have shown they understand that.
“Just a few days ago, support for Ukraine got over 330 votes in the House!
“Three in four House members.
“The U.S. does not abandon its allies, and the U.S. will not give Putin a free pass to continue his brutal war of aggression.
“I need to make it clear: we are sticking with our allies in Ukraine and we are not letting up. We are going to make sure we get this done—period.
“So I will work with all of my colleagues to make certain we stand with Ukraine and deliver the resources in a supplemental that we know are so vital right at this moment and do it in a timely manner.
“I know my Vice Chair shares that commitment, and we both look forward to continuing our efforts and working with many colleagues on both sides of the aisle.
“We of course also need to take action to address the child care crisis, especially as the funding cliff makes this even worse for parents, providers, and our economy.
“To my Republican colleagues: I am positive you are hearing from your constituents on this.
“I am ready to work with anyone to make progress here so, please, talk to me and let’s work together on that front.
“Now, let me also just say: there was no reason for it to come this close.
“House Republicans should have worked with us from the very start.
“Instead, they spent weeks entertaining the most extreme ideas from their far right.
“Spending the last week voting on truly extreme appropriations bills that would not even actually avert a shutdown. Appropriations bills that would deny our servicemembers the ability to get the reproductive care they need in emergencies, severely restrict women’s access to medication abortion in every state, bills that would decimate rural communities, eliminate essential resources for our diplomats abroad, and so much else.
“And then—just yesterday, they proposed an across-the-board 30% cut to virtually all domestic funding.
“They wanted to gut funding come Monday for child care, support for K-12 schools, law enforcement, heating assistance for families on tight budgets, air traffic controllers, life-saving cancer research, and so much more.
“Even that proposal apparently wasn’t enough for the most extreme members of the House Republican conference, and it went down in flames.
“But let’s not forget—and I don’t believe the American people will that the vast majority of House Republicans voted just yesterday to gut programs families count on—programs that keep all of us safe—by 30%.
“Needless to say: I am glad to see that some of them have—at least for the moment—abandoned those cruel efforts to slash funding for families with seemingly no rhyme or reason.
“Now as we look ahead: I urge my House Republican colleagues: spare us and the American people the unnecessary drama and chaos and learn to work with your colleagues, not against them.
“Look: The Speaker and the President shook hands on a deal.
“Congress passed it into law.
“We are going to stick with it.
“I voted for this bill today with a firm commitment that here in the Senate we will not waste any time in moving forward to support our Ukrainian allies and a continued determination to make bipartisan progress on the many issues we need to address.
“And of course—we need to pass all twelve of our bipartisan appropriations bills so we aren’t back here in a few weeks.
“On that note, we need to get moving to the Military Construction-Veterans Affairs, T-HUD, and Ag appropriations minibus that a few of my colleagues—very few of them—on the other side have been blocking.
“I hope both Leaders will facilitate the Vice Chair and I getting back to work on those bills in the next few days.
“And as we pass short-term CR, we need to make progress to begin conferencing our spending bills with the House to avoid another CR or an omnibus at the end of the year, which I know many of my colleagues are focused on avoiding.
“And if we’re going to get any of that done—it has to be bipartisan. It is going to involve us being serious and focused on getting our job done to have real results for the American people.
“If there is one lesson for House Republicans to take from the absolute chaos they have caused this past week, it is that partisanship is not a path forward—it’s a path to chaos.
“The only way to avoid a shutdown—the only way to get things done—especially in a divided Congress is to sit down with the other side, and do the hard work of negotiating, talking to one another.
“It is not to cave to the most extreme members of your caucus and go back on your word.
“I think most of us have known that from the start. But apparently Speaker McCarthy needed to learn that lesson the hard way.
“Now it’s time for him to show he has truly learned it.
“I urge him not to retreat back to a partisan corner, not to push for extreme, partisan spending bills that go back on the deal he made just a few months ago.
“If you follow the most extreme members of your party and go down that same partisan path, they are going to lead you to the same dead end.
“The American people need us to move forward.
“They need us to work together.
“The senior Senator from Maine and I have twelve bipartisan bills in the Senate—we drafted them after many hearings, serious debate, and discussion with members on both sides of the aisle. And they passed our Committee in overwhelming bipartisan votes—unanimous or near unanimous votes.
“These are serious bills that can actually be signed into law.
“Let’s leave behind the partisan politics being championed by the loudest voices who are the farthest on the right.
“And come together, so we can help people, and solve problems.
“Like we were all sent here to do.”
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