Statement Of Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy On House Democrats Introducing Legislation To Reopen the Government

There is one reason and one reason only that much of our federal government is shut down through the holidays and countless Americans are living with uncertainty – and that reason is President Trump.  For 10 days he has held the federal government hostage in an attempt to force us to pay for an ineffective and expensive wall on the southern border, a wall he promised that Mexico would pay for.  It will not work.  He does not have the votes.  

Today, House Democrats introduced a commonsense path forward to end the Trump Shutdown: six bipartisan appropriations bills and a continuing resolution for the Department of Homeland Security.  Following this path, we can finish six of the seven appropriations bills this week and get the government back open and working for the American people.

The six bills are the product of bipartisan compromise and provide billions of dollars in new resources to address critical needs of the American people and to protect U.S. national security.  They provide much-needed funding to help combat our nation’s opioid epidemic, and critical investments in infrastructure to help rebuild our nation’s crumbling roads, bridges, and highways.  They provide resources to protect the environment and help ensure that the water we drink and the air we breathe is safe and clean for this generation and the next.  And they support key allies and national security programs that enable the United States to be a global leader.  For 10 days this funding has been held hostage by the President.  Which of this funding would he have cut to pay for his wall?  The reality is, while the President has spent days hiding away in the White House and demanding via tweets billions from U.S. taxpayers to build his misguided wall, he has completely cut off funding for the very Department tasked with securing our border, as well as eight other federal departments and dozens of agencies.  It's time this stopped. 

The path forward is now clear, and I strongly encourage Senate Republicans to support and pass this bipartisan compromise. 

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CONTACT: Jay Tilton – 202-224-2667