September 23, 2008
Lewis: Appropriations Process Flawed, but a Continuing Resolution is Necessary
Bill package will prevent government shut-down and provide funding for troops, homeland security, veterans, and natural disasters
WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Appropriations Committee Ranking Republican Jerry Lewis today announced his reluctant approval of a massive, $800 billion spending package that will prevent a government shut-down and provide necessary funding for national defense, homeland security, veterans programs, and emergency disaster recovery.
Although the Democrat leaders in the House and Senate have precluded any annual Appropriations bill from passing both chambers – a historic failure that has not occurred since the late 1980s – Congress must pass a Continuing Resolution (CR) to keep the government running into the next fiscal year.
“The Appropriations process this year has been the most dysfunctional process that I’ve seen in my 30 years in Congress. While the CR is now inevitable, it would not have been necessary had the Democrat majority actually focused on completing our work on Appropriations bills,” Lewis said.
Lewis also indicated his disapproval that this spending package was crafted by the highest levels of Democrat leadership and their staff without the participation of the majority of both Democrat and Republican Members of Congress and Senators. No public hearings or meetings on this legislation have been held.
“Congress is being forced to approve a package that was created in a backroom by a handful of Democrat leaders and staff. This legislation has never seen the light of day, and has had no oversight or scrutiny by the vast majority of Representatives, Senators, the media, or the American public,” Lewis continued. “In the very least, the taxpayers who are footing this bill and the Members who are voting for it have the right to know what’s in it.”
“The overall spending in this legislation is staggering, and the process by which it was crafted is abysmal.” Lewis said, “However, it is essential that Congress avoid the dangerous effects of a government shutdown on our fragile markets and struggling families, and we must provide critical funding for our troops, our security, and our veterans. Therefore, I will reluctantly support the legislation.”