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Beyer Statement On His Vote Against the Continuing Resolution

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Washington, December 8, 2016 | comments

Congressman Don Beyer (D-VA) issued the following statement today on his vote against final passage of the continuing resolution (CR):

I voted today against the continuing resolution (CR), which would fund the U.S. government for four months.  Although there are components of the CR that I support, such as funding for Flint, Michigan’s water crisis, the CR also all-too-conveniently sets the stage for a more conservative and destructive long-term funding vehicle come April. Today’s effort was a legislative maneuver designed to limit bipartisan cooperation and enact destructive Republican principles through the budget process.

It was months ago that Congress began the appropriations process to adequately fund government operations, with key investments in infrastructure, technology, research and development, the middle class, and the armed services. Yet here we are, more than two months into the fiscal year, with a harmful continuing resolution with historically low non-defense discretionary spending that forces federal agencies to meet budget shortfalls by slashing programs that help those most in need.

This is not regular order despite six years of promises and single party control, and I am disappointed but not surprised that a full-year funding bill continues to elude this chamber. This bill ignores the budget agreement made last winter, breaks parity between defense and non-defense discretionary programs that many Americans rely on, and fails to appropriately address the needs of our government.

The bill also grants a waiver to a recently retired general to become Secretary of Defense, a waiver only extended once in history. Such a move involves questioning of one of our most important foundational doctrines --civilian control of the military -- and deserves full debate by both chambers of Congress. Attaching this waiver to a funding bill through a midnight maneuver is an attempt to sneak that waiver past the American people without any discussion, which is not a precedent we can accept, especially given the controversy surrounding the President-elect’s other Cabinet nominees.

I take funding the government and keeping the many federal employees I represent at work extremely seriously, but this bill is not one which I could have voted for in good conscience. I opposed the continuing resolution. It is my hope that Senate will reject the CR so that we can get to work on a bipartisan full year funding bill instead of rushing out the door for our holiday vacations with many priorities unaddressed.

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