October 1, 2013
House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers delivered the following statement on the House floor tonight in support of the move by the House to go to conference committee on H.J. Res. 59, the Continuing Resolution to fund the government after midnight on September 30, 2013.
“The Senate has just rejected the House’s third attempt to avoid a government shutdown. This body has voted time and time again to keep the lights on in our government, and to stop the train wreck that is ObamaCare. Unfortunately, our colleagues in the Senate have rejected these offers, and have refused to come to the table to find a solution.
“To be absolutely clear, the House has debated and approved three separate Continuing Resolutions. These bills do what they are named for, they continue government. We do not want a shutdown, and we’ve done what we can to avoid it.
“Given the situation at hand and the late hour, we will now vote to send the CR we just passed, and a request for a conference to the Senate. Our challenges are great, but they are not insurmountable. This conference can provide a venue to discuss the differences between the House and Senate, have productive negotiations, and come to a final agreement that most can support.
“In some ways, this is a logical next step. When the House and the Senate are unable to resolve their differences on other pieces of critical legislation, the appropriate action is to appoint a conference.
“The shuttering of the government is a very serious and difficult situation. I understand that the move to go to conference on a Continuing Resolution is not the first – or the second, or the third – choice of many Members here tonight. It is not my first choice either, but I believe this motion can help us move forward and provide a small gleam of light at the end of this long tunnel."