Continuing Appropriationsby Senator Patty Murray
Posted on 2013-09-30
MURRAY. Madam President, I find it extremely ironic that we are
here right now hearing that the House of Representatives is going to
shut down the government and then send us a bill saying they want to
talk in a conference committee. Let's remember why we are here
right now with the threat of a shutdown where thousands of families and
communities are going to be hurt. We passed a budget in the Senate 6
months ago. The House of Representatives passed a budget in the House 6
months ago. The goal was to go together in conference, work out our
disagreements, define the funding levels for the coming fiscal year so
we would not be sitting tonight, minutes away from a shutdown.
The right thing to have done would have been to go to conference anytime in that last 6 months, as we asked for 18 times, but were told no by the same people who are now sitting on the other side of the aisle and saying: No, they want to shut government down.
Why do they want to do that? They want to create a crisis because they think they are going to get something. We know going to a conference means that we have to compromise. That is what a conference is. But we are not going to do it with a gun to our head that says we are shutting government down. We are going to conference over a short little 6-week CR? We have to deal with the longer term budget. We have asked many times to go to conference on that. We stand ready to go to work on making compromises for our long-term fiscal crisis. But tonight the only question that should be before the House of Representatives and the Senate is keeping our government open without a gun to anyone's head.
The Speaker should pass a clean CR, send it to the President, and tell Americans that we are not going to disrupt their lives in this country for the next 6 weeks while we work out the bigger agreement. That is what we need to be doing.
I urge the Speaker to step away from the precipice and have the government stay open. Don't put everybody's lives and communities in this country at risk and allow us to get to work to solve our next year's fiscal crisis before it is on us again.
I yield the floor.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Maryland.