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McCollum Floor Remarks Opposing H.R. 695, More Republican Budget Games

January 30, 2018
Press Release

Congresswoman Betty McCollum (DFL-Minn.) delivered remarks on the House Floor on Jan. 30, 2018 in opposition to H.R. 695, a Republican show vote that wastes valuable time needed to negotiate a long-term budget deal. Video of Congresswoman McCollum's remarks is here. The full text is below:

Mr. Speaker, here we are again. For four months the federal government has been operating under a series of short-term continuing resolutions. And as we approach yet another deadline to fund the government next week, the Republican majority is spending time on the floor today voting a third time on a defense appropriations bill that they know will not pass the Senate.

The most basic fundamental responsibility of Congress is to provide adequate and timely funding for the entire federal government – both our national defense and our domestic priorities – for a full fiscal year. The fact that this bill is on the floor for a third time highlights the absolute failure of the Republican majority to advance a responsible budget process.

Mr. Speaker, voting on the same bill three times is the very definition of playing political games. The American people deserve better than this continuing Republican chaos. Democrats and Republicans agree that defense spending is vitally important. But so is funding education, transportation, healthcare, and all the other federal programs that all Americans – our military and their families included – depend on.

And if anyone doubts the harmful impacts of endless stopgap spending bills, perhaps they should listen to our Secretary of Defense. I quote:

“For too long we have asked our military to stoically carry out a success at any cost attitude, as they work tirelessly to accomplish the mission with now inadequate and misaligned resources, simply because the Congress could not maintain regular order.”

If Republicans are serious about supporting our military, they should heed the Secretary’s warning and work with Democrats on a bipartisan budget agreement to fund the entire government for the rest of this fiscal year.

I have been ready, Democrats have been ready for months to work across the aisle to advance this process – it is long past time that Republicans join us. I yield back.