McCollum Remarks In Opposition to Five-Month Continuing Resolution
Congresswoman Betty McCollum (DFL-Minn.) delivered the following remarks on the House Floor about her opposition to the FY2017 Continuing Resolution:
Mr. Speaker, once again this Congress has abandoned its responsibility to provide a full year appropriation. Months of hard work were thrown away, pushing important funding decisions down the road.
I’ve heard from families and business leaders in my district who are worried about the uncertainty that continuing resolutions create in their daily lives. This is not a good way to govern and it is not good for our country.
As the Ranking Member of the Interior and Environment Subcommittee, I am disappointed that this bill only provides five months of funding for priorities like clean air, clean water, our national parks and our treaty obligations to tribal nations.
We need the security of full-year funding for hospitals and schools in Indian Country, management of our national forests and parks, and the Environmental Protection Agency’s monitoring of toxins that threaten the health of our families. Instead, this legislation leaves these programs in jeopardy again in April.
This bill does take an important step to assist with the lead poisoning crisis in Flint, though it is less than what is needed and comes far too late.
I also want to thank Chairman Calvert, as well as Chairman Rogers and Ranking Member Lowey, for working with me to ensure that this bill does not contain any new policy riders that would impact the Interior and Environment Subcommittee’s jurisdiction.
My biggest concern with this legislation is not Interior related, but instead involves a fundamental principle of our democracy.
The decision by Republican Leadership to include language that would limit a full public debate on the Senate confirmation of the nominee for Secretary of Defense is alarming.
Civilian control of our military has been a cornerstone of American Democracy since our country’s founding. When the Secretary of Defense position was created in 1947, this principle was enshrined into law. Only once in 69 years has a waiver been granted — and it was done under a fully transparent process.
This bill denies that same opportunity for a full hearing in Congress on the nomination of General James Mattis. That should be deeply concerning to all Americans.