Lowey Dear Colleague on Legislation to Reopen Federal Government
House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman-designate sent the following Dear Colleague letter on December 31, urging Members to support House Democrats' legislative package to reopen the federal government. A PDF copy of the Dear Colleague is available here. Additional information on House Democrats' legislative package is available here.
December 31, 2018
This week the new Democratic majority in the House will introduce two bills to fully reopen government.
The first bill is a package covering the Agriculture; Commerce, Justice, Science; Financial Services and General Government; Interior; State and Foreign Operations; and Transportation and Housing and Urban Development subcommittees. It provides full year funding, and the legislation is virtually identical to bipartisan FY 2019 Senate bills, four of which passed in August by an overwhelming 92-6 vote. The other two were not debated on the Senate floor, but passed nearly unanimously out of the Senate Appropriations Committee.
The only differences between what I will introduce on Thursday and the Senate bills from the 115th Congress are technical, conforming, and scorekeeping adjustments. While they are not perfect, they make key investments in bipartisan priorities, do not contain any poison pill riders, and total $53 billion more than President Trump’s budget request. You can find a full summary at the Appropriations Committee's website.
The second bill is a Continuing Resolution (CR) through February 8 for the Department of Homeland Security, which would allow the Department to reopen and negotiators to keep discussing a full year bill. The CR will not provide new funding for the wall.
The “6+1” package is the fastest way to reopen government and avoid another multi-department shutdown in February. Instead of stumbling from crisis to crisis, we should reopen government so that we can fund vital programs that are most important to our constituents. We must not allow the President to hold agencies funded in six bills hostage as he tries to secure funding for his ill-considered wall. There is simply no reason the Senate should not pass the package given that they wrote the six full year bills and passed a CR through February 8.
I look forward to working with you in the 116th Congress, and I urge you to vote yes on both bills to reopen the government.
Nita M. Lowey
House Committee on Appropriations