Rogers: Continuing Resolution Protects our Troops and Their Families, Prevents Government Shutdown
House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers today offered legislation on the floor of the House to prevent a government shutdown by extending federal funding for one additional week. The bill will provide time for House and Senate negotiators to come to a final budget agreement, while funding the Department of Defense – including pay for troops and their families – for the rest of the fiscal year.
The floor statement by Chairman Rogers follows:
“Mr. Speaker, I rise today to support H.R. 1363 - the Department of Defense and Further Additional Continuing Appropriations Act of 2011. I ask my colleagues support for this bill so we can avoid a government shutdown and provide the necessary time to finally complete negotiations on a final funding agreement for the rest of the 2011 fiscal year.
“This bill funds government operations for one more week, while reducing spending by $12 billion. These cuts include funding rescissions, reductions and program terminations from nearly all areas of the government. Virtually all of these cuts were also included in HR 1, and many were included in the President’s budget requests, the Senate’s alternative to H.R. 1, or the recent OMB CR proposal.
“Most importantly, the bill supports our troops and our national security by providing funding for our national Defense for the remainder of the fiscal year. Our troops and their families deserve to have the financial security we promised them while we continue to work towards a final budget agreement.
“After months of uncertainty, it is high time we provide for our national security in a responsible way. This means common-sense funding that ensures the safety of our war fighters and the success of our missions abroad.
“However, while this legislation points us in the right direction on security and spending cuts, what we all want right now is to wrap up these negotiations, complete the process for 2011 and move our many other important legislative items.
“As I have said many times before, short-term measures are not the preferable way to fund the government. So while no one wants to fund the government in one- or two-week bursts, this short-term CR is what we must do to prevent a government shutdown and allow time to pass a smart and thoughtful bill for the rest of the year.
“Mr. Speaker, coming into this Congress, the Democrats left us with a financial mess – soaring deficits, unchecked spending and no budget or Appropriations bill for 2011. And now that we are more than three months in – and six months into the fiscal year – the Senate Democrats have yet to produce any plan to help clean up this mess.
“Despite all the roadblocks we’ve faced throughout the process, we must continue down the path to fiscal solvency, and this CR both affords us the time required to complete negotiations as well as makes the spending cuts needed to continue to help balance our budgets.
“We are committed to making real spending cuts like these to reduce our deficits both now and in the future. We are determined to complete this work where Democrats failed to do so.
“While answering our constituents’ calls to reduce excessive government spending, this bill provides time to negotiate in an honest way to do what is not only right for our constituents, our nation, and our financial future. Let’s pass this bill, and finally get this leftover work from last year behind us.”