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Tsongas statement on government funding bill

January 22, 2018

“Governing from crisis to crisis is no way to govern; it is counterproductive and has real consequences. And, it diminishes our ability to adequately serve the public interest.  Yet, here we are again.  A plan to fund government is four months overdue and counting, and the bill before us today continues a cycle of desperately lurching from one manufactured crisis to another.  All the while, the majority’s inability to pass a budget has allowed a growing list of priorities – that have support from both Democrats and Republicans – to lapse like:  addressing the opioid epidemic; funding veterans’ infrastructure and services; reauthorizing community health centers and other health extenders; saving Americans’ endangered pensions; protecting the DREAMers; providing disaster recovery funding; and producing a budget that funds the military and the domestic investments that keep our nation strong.  That is why I voted no on tonight’s funding bill.

“Despite controlling all the levers of power in our government, Republicans have failed to come together to produce a funding bill that their party can agree on, and refuse to negotiate in good faith with Democrats.  As a result, we have witnessed the first shutdown in modern history when one party held the House, the Senate and the White House.

“There is no guarantee that in three weeks anything will have changed. And, while Senator McConnell has promised that we will take up an immigration bill in the coming weeks, Speaker Ryan has given no similar assurances.

“We cannot keep giving a pass to those in charge.  The Republican majority controls the agenda and can bring a bill to the Floor that could pass in both chambers.  I urge them to take responsibility and come together in good faith with Democrats to avoid another embarrassing shutdown in a few weeks.”