Vice Chairwoman Mikulski to Vote for Continuing Funding Resolution
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.), Vice Chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced that she will vote for the continuing funding resolution (CR) that will last through April 28, 2017:
“I will vote in favor of the CR to keep the government open for a final time as Vice Chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. I am honored to have been the first woman and first Marylander to chair Appropriations.
“As Vice Chairwoman I have fought for the day to day needs of Americans and long range needs of our nation, putting funds in the checkbook protecting national security, promoting economic security and meeting compelling human needs. We create jobs today by investing in physical infrastructure like roads and bridges, and by revitalizing manufacturing with a National Network of Manufacturing Innovation. And we create jobs tomorrow by funding bio-tech, space tech and other cutting edge research which leads to new ideas that become new products and new jobs.
“But Appropriations at its best is helping people. We meet compelling human needs by making sure families have access to affordable child care and special education when they need it, and by investing in our nation’s biomedical research powerhouses, like the National Institutes of Health, so our scientists have a shot at finding cures for diseases, from cancer to Alzheimer’s. We are making sure promises made to veterans and seniors are promises kept. And we are committed to addressing the scourge of opioid and prescription drug addiction and to making sure the families of Flint have clean water to drink and bathe in.
“Our Committee is a problem-solving Committee. Our markups are vigorous and rigorous, but at the end of the day, we find compromise without capitulating on our principles. I had three goals for Appropriations this year – parity for defense and non-defense spending, no poison pill riders, and additional funds for the opioid abuse, Flint, and Zika crises. I had hoped to be finishing with full year bills as we did the past three years, but this CR does accomplish all three of my original goals.
“Throughout the year, I have sought additional funding for fighting heroin and opioid abuse, helping the people of Flint, Michigan, and responding to and treating the Zika virus. The Zika bill passed in September and I’m pleased the CR includes funding for addressing the opioid epidemic and Flint’s water crisis. The CR also includes funding for our troops overseas and for enhancing humanitarian relief and embassy security. It also provides disaster relief for victims of floods and Hurricane Matthew as well as the resources necessary for implementing the CURES Act. I am also pleased that we have now secured half of the funding needed for a new, consolidated FBI headquarters. The FBI is our nation’s lead agency in fighting domestic terrorism. Replacing the current crumbling, sinking and inadequate building will help the FBI meet 21st century threats.
“But I am disappointed the funding for Flint isn’t guaranteed with passage of this CR. It still needs to be authorized in the Water Resources Development Act. Also, the extension of the Miners Health Benefits only lasts through April 30. Promises made should be promises kept. The miners deserve a permanent extension of these benefits. I stand behind Senator Manchin’s efforts on their behalf.
“I am also disappointed that our Republican colleagues wrote this CR behind closed doors, cynically playing off coal miners versus the people of Flint, Michigan, and the people of Flint versus environmental protections. That’s not how Democrats operated and that’s not a way to produce good legislation.
“I wish I was voting for a final resolution of our negotiations on full year government spending bills instead of a temporary bill that lasts through April 28. But I’m leaving the Committee in the good hands of people dedicated to finishing the job we started. And I hope Congress will work across the dome and across the aisle to get the job done.”
Mara Stark-Alcalá (202) 224-2667
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