December 7, 2017
House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen made the following statement on the House floor today in support of H.J. Res. 123, a Continuing Resolution providing funding through December 22, 2017:
Mr. Chairman, I rise today to present H.J. Res. 123, a Continuing Resolution that maintains funding for federal government operations and prevents a shutdown.
Current funding legislation expires tomorrow - Friday, December 8. Congress must act now to prevent a government shutdown and preserve vital federal programs that Americans rely on. This action is critical to our nation’s stability, our national security, our economic health, and the wellbeing of the American people.
This simple, clean extension of funding provides FY 2018 funding for government programs through December 22 – an additional two weeks – and will allow time for leadership to reach a deal on overall topline spending levels for the 2018 fiscal year.
I would note that the Executive Branch supports adoption of this Continuing Resolution. Yesterday’s Statement of Administration Policy says “this legislation funds the Federal Government at current spending levels without extraneous provisions” and concludes that advisors would recommend the President sign the bill into law.
Mr. Chairman, I ask consent to submit the December 6 Statement of Administration Policy regarding H. J. Res. 123 for the Record.
My Colleagues, the House completed our Appropriations work over 80 days ago – passing all 12 bills before the end of the last fiscal year for the first time in nearly a decade. This included critically important funding for our national defense.
Unfortunately, the Appropriations Committee cannot proceed without an agreement with the Senate on overall funding levels. The reality is that we are running into a deadline this week and this resolution is our best and only option at this time.
Once a broader budget agreement has been reached – which I hope will be soon – the Committee will continue its work to complete final negotiations with the Senate on all 12 of the regular appropriations bills that will fully fund the federal government through September of next year.
And our Committee is also moving quickly to act on a third emergency supplemental funding bill to help communities across the country recover from recent major disasters.
In the meantime, Congress must do its job and pass this Continuing Resolution – and then another one into the New Year - to keep the government open for and ensure that important federal services are available to all Americans.
I urge support for this necessary and responsible legislation and reserve the balance of my time.