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 Senate passage of the Further Extending Government Funding Act, H.R. 6119. This legislation, which has already passed the House of Representatives, will keep the federal government open through February 18, 2022 and provide more time for the Congress to overcome obstacles to an agreement on full-year appropriations bills for Fiscal Year 2022.
“I am thankful that we have found a way to avoid another government shutdown, but a continuing resolution is absolutely no substitute for regular appropriations. By refusing to engage in real and productive negotiations on a long-term budget, my Republican colleagues are needlessly destabilizing our government solvency and prolonging the economic uncertainty that has accompanied the pandemic.
“Full-year appropriations bills are critical to Maryland’s economy. Small businesses, for whom access to capital is a foremost concern, need to know that the Small Business Administration (SBA) 7a, 504, and other SBA-guaranteed loan programs and other resources will be there when they need them. Small businesses and minority-owned federal contractors also need to know that their federal clients will pay their bills on time. In addition, federal contractors receive no guarantees that they will be paid during a shutdown, inducing fresh waves of uncertainty every time we approach, or temporarily delay, another shutdown. This can have a profound ripple effect throughout our state’s economy. Its impacts do not end there – services for veterans, pay for air traffic controllers, and transportation safety investigations can face serious setbacks when we fail to reach agreement to avoid shutdowns.
“Again, I am appreciative that we found a way to avoid a shutdown of the federal government. But we can, and must, do better than CR after CR. I urge my colleagues to find a way to come together and finally work in good faith to provide stable and long-term funding for our government that will keep our economy on a positive track.”