McCollum Floor Remarks Opposing GOP's Fifth Stopgap Spending Bill
Congresswoman Betty McCollum (DFL-Minn.) spoke on the House Floor on Feb. 6, 2018 in opposition to H.R. 1892, House Republicans' latest short-term, stopgap spending bill. Video of Congresswoman McCollum's remarks is available here. The full text of Congresswoman McCollum's remarks is below:
Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to this legislation, a misguided bill that ignores the urgent needs of the American people. The federal government’s fiscal year started October 1, 2017 — 128 days ago. Instead of using that time to get their work done, Republicans have focused solely on partisan politics. But when it comes to the essential responsibility of funding the federal government, Republicans can’t be bothered. Now, we are asked to vote for a bill that funds the Pentagon for the rest of the year, while funding our schools and our hospitals for just 43 days.
Mr. Speaker, our national security begins at home — with investments in the future that keep our families and communities safe, strong, and moving forward. This bill ignores those needs. It provides no certainty for our law enforcement professionals, no long-term funding for urgent repairs to our crumbling infrastructure, and no confidence for investments in lifesaving medical research. It doesn’t even provide a full year of funding for veterans’ health care.
While it is encouraging that Republicans are finally reauthorizing vital health care programs like our Community Health Centers, paying for these programs with cuts to the CDC’s Prevention and Public Health Fund - which is providing lifesaving vaccines in this severe flu season - is the height of irresponsibility.
Discord and delay is no way to run a government. But under total Republican control, that’s exactly what we are getting. Unlike the President, I don’t want a government shutdown. We need a budget agreement that keeps our government open, protects our national security, and meets our commitments to hardworking families. Let’s stop the games and get to work now.