WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Chairman of the Senate Small Business Committee and a member of the Senate Finance Committee, issued the following statement on the passage of the Continuing Appropriations and Ukraine Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2023 (CR) that funds the federal government through December 16, 2022.
“Once again, we face the end of the fiscal year with a continuing resolution to keep the federal government from shutting down. Avoiding a wasteful shutdown is critical, but it would have been much better if we had bipartisan cooperation to finalize regular appropriations bills in a timely manner. As the state of our economy, the pandemic, public safety and world crises shift, so too should the budget priorities defined by Congress. Each time Republicans push us to the edge of the fiscal cliff by failing to work in good faith on setting a bipartisan topline budget agreement, the uncertainty and fear harms our federal workforce, as well as the programs Americans nationwide rely on daily.
“Key provisions supporting our federal workers include the Food and Drug Administration user fee reauthorization, which will give this vital Maryland-based agency and its workforce predictable funding for the next 5 years to continue to exercise critical prescription drug and medical device oversight and other activities to ensure access to safe and effective treatments and cures. The CR also includes increased funding for the Social Security Administration, based in Woodlawn, Md., which begins to address the agency’s service delivery and staffing challenges.
“I was pleased to see that the CR includes sufficient funding for Ukraine and Afghanistan. Our failure to complete timely appropriations bills does not change the state of war in Ukraine or the dire humanitarian needs of Afghan refugees. The appropriations approved today include crucial funding for refugee benefits provided to Afghans granted immigration parole status while continuing to authorize funding for activities related to Operations Allies Welcome. Additionally, it provides Ukraine with additional military assistance to help counter Russia’s unprovoked war.”