WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Senate Finance Committee, released the following statement about the Senate-passed continuing resolution (CR) to fund portions of the federal government through February 8, 2019.
“Continuing resolutions should not be the norm in the federal appropriations process. It is a good thing for the American people and especially federal workers that we are on track to avoid a partial shutdown of the federal government right at the holidays. A shutdown would be bad for small businesses, bad for Americans’ health and safety, bad for state and local law enforcement, and bad for local and state governments who depend on assistance from the federal government to provide a wide variety of services in communities across this nation.
“But we cannot keep punting our problems next year or next month. This is no way to govern. By failing to agree on a longer-term budget, the President is blocking critical additional funding to combat the opioid epidemic, rebuild our nation’s crumbling infrastructure, provide urgent disaster relief assistance, and enhance national security programs to protect our country from constant attacks by our adversaries.
“If not for President Trump’s irrational, purely political machinations to divert precious taxpayer money for a wall on our Southern border, Democrats and Republicans would have finished all of our appropriations bills closer on time and on a bipartisan basis. Democrats support comprehensive immigration reform and strong border security – we’ve worked with Republicans to pass bipartisan immigration reform previously. However, we will not divert billions of dollars of taxpayer funds for a wall that could make a real difference elsewhere.
“A partial federal shutdown would mean that many federal workers would go to work without knowing whether they would be paid, or would be furloughed and unable to do their job on behalf of the American people. Also missing from this stopgap measure is approval of a meager 1.9 percent pay raise for federal workers. Federal workers are critical to the operation of our government and provide essential services to the American people in every state across the nation. After years of pay freezes and zero cost of living adjustments, federal workers deserve to be recognized for their efforts and dedication. I will work with my colleagues to determine how we can best make up the difference and ensure federal workers have appropriate pay and the tools they need to succeed.”
Additional video of Senator Cardin speaking about a potential shutdown can be downloaded here.