Vice Chairwoman Mikulski Statement on Final Passage of Clean CR

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.), Vice Chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, issued the following statement after the Senate voted to pass a clean, short-term continuing funding resolution (CR) to keep the government open while Congress works on a new budget deal that cancels sequester and writes a bipartisan fiscal year 2016 Omnibus:
“Today we voted on a clean, short-term continuous funding resolution (CR).  Passing this legislation means no government shutdown.  There may be some drama, but we intend to keep the government open and avoid shutdown, slamdown politics.
“The House should pass the CR this afternoon, so our federal employees can focus on serving the American people instead of politically driven crises.
“Shutdowns are bad for everyone.  Shutdowns create uncertainty which slows economic growth, hurts the health and wellbeing of the entire nation, and causes the loss of jobs in the private sector.  Shutdowns make it impossible for Federal agencies to meet missions that serve the American people.
“Let’s show the American people we can work across the aisle and across the dome to get the job done.
“Avoiding a shutdown is just the first step.  Next, we need a budget deal to cancel sequester. 
“Just this morning, Senator McConnell attempted to bring to the Senate floor an appropriations bill that cuts funding for our veterans by over $850 million, delaying the care they need and deserve.  We need a budget deal so we can fulfill our promises to veterans.
“Right now, our budget caps spending, but doesn’t cap tax breaks for billionaires and corporations that send jobs overseas.  Americans are angry.  They feel like the rules are rigged against them, and that those who write the rules don’t care.
“Let’s show them this Congress cares.  The people deserve a government on their side.
“That’s why I’m fighting to make sure they have a government that works as hard as they do.  After passing the bill to fund the government, we can move on to a new budget deal that cancels sequester, raising the caps equally for defense and non-defense domestic spending.
“The budget deal will give us a framework for an Omnibus funding bill that invests in America, protecting national security, rebuilding our physical infrastructure, creating jobs for today and jobs for tomorrow, and meeting our compelling human needs.  The Appropriations Committee needs 30 days to get the job done after a new budget deal is passed.
“I challenge leadership to work with Speaker Boehner to enact a new topline budget deal by the end of October.  We can’t let October brinksmanship become a Christmas crisis.”