Vice Chairman Leahy Statement on Final Passage of the Senate Minibus Appropriations Bill

Today, we will vote on final passage of the fiscal year 2020 Senate Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations bill, the Agriculture Appropriations bill, the Interior Appropriations bill, and the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations bill.  I urge members to vote aye. 

These are good, bipartisan bills.  They show that despite the political atmosphere we operate in, the Appropriations Committee can put partisan politics aside and do our work on behalf of the American people. 

These bills make responsible investments that build on what we were able to accomplish in fiscal year 2019 while strongly rejecting the short sighted cuts proposed by President Trump and his administration.  They back up our commitment to invest in rural communities and farms, law enforcement, the environment, infrastructure, and affordable housing.

It is important to acknowledge how we reached this point in the process.  These are bipartisan bills that were reported out of the Appropriations Committee with unanimous support.  This formula for success is no secret, and it can be repeated. 

I want to thank Chairs and Ranking Members of the Subcommittees for their good work: Senators Hoeven and Merkley, Senators Murkowski and Udall, Senators Collins and Reed, and Senators Moran and Shaheen. 

I have often said that Senators are merely constitutional impediments to their staff, and Senator Shelby and I are lucky to have a very good staff assisting us on these bills.  They have worked long days and nights, and I appreciate the work that they do.   I would like to submit for the record a list of staff, both Republicans and Democrats, who deserve our thanks. 

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