Statement of Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On Supporting The Continuing Resolution

Governing by crisis must come to an end.  Since March, I have been calling for a bipartisan budget deal, based on parity, that would pave a path toward responsibly funding the government and averting this 11th hour Republican shutdown crisis. 

I have not lost faith that such a deal can still be reached.  So, tonight I voted “aye” on the Continuing Resolution to keep the government open into January.  A government shutdown helps no one. 

This will allow us one more month to reach a bipartisan budget deal based on parity and address the needs of our military and the needs of our communities.  But this is not the only thing we must accomplish in the coming months.  Our list of unfinished business is long.  We need to pass the DREAM Act, and we need to do it soon.  DREAMers are American in every way except on paper, having been brought here as children through no fault of their own.  By definition, DREAMers are law-abiding strivers, serving our communities as doctors and teachers and defending our homeland as brave men and women in uniform.  This must be our one of our top priorities.   We need to reform Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act to protect the privacy of all Americans.  We need a permanent reauthorization for the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and Community Health Centers.  And we need to consider a comprehensive disaster relief package that takes into consideration the unique needs of the people of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. 

We have a lot to do, but it is time we take the work of the American people seriously and move beyond governing by crisis. 

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CONTACT: Jay Tilton – 202-224-2667