Sen. Tom Carper released statement Dec. 21 after voting to approve a short-term spending bill that will fund the government through Jan. 19.

“Ensuring the federal government has the funding it needs to operate is one of the most fundamental duties of Congress, which is why I reluctantly voted today to prevent a government shutdown. Yet again, Congress scrambled to keep the lights on for another month, kicking the can down the road on a number of critical decisions, including protecting our Dreamers, funding health care for millions of children and providing disaster recovery funding. Our failure to enact thoughtful bipartisan policies to address these challenging issues and fund the government in a responsible way is an embarrassment,” said Carper.

“Frankly, it’s shameful the way we are concluding the last votes of the 115th Congress in 2017. This year was marked by many missed opportunities as Republicans in Congress wasted precious time and political capital with a purely partisan approach to governing. Their fruitless attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act yielded higher premiums, fewer insurance options and fear for millions of Americans who depend on the law for health care. After those repeated failures, Republicans got their ‘win’ this week by passing a $1.5 trillion bill that wounds, but does not repeal, the ACA, raises taxes on millions of middle class families and disproportionately benefits the wealthiest Americans. All the while, urgent issues facing our nation, demanding Congress’s attention and action, were put on the back burner,” said Carper.

“Millions of families are desperately waiting on Congress to pass long-term funding solutions for CHIP, health centers and other critical health programs. Nearly 800,000 young men and women are waiting on Congress to act with common sense and common decency to renew DACA protections and allow them to live, work and study in the only home they’ve ever known. At a time when millions of jobs remain unfilled, it baffles me that my Republican colleagues would turn their backs on these impressive young people who embody the American dream. Leaving Washington with these and so many other critical issues unresolved brings me no joy, but I’m leery to shut down the government at this juncture, and I remain hopeful that this continuing resolution gives us the time needed to craft a bipartisan solution to address all of these priorities in a comprehensive manner that funds these programs and secures permanent protections for these deserving young people,” said Carper.

“Today we leave Washington and a great deal of work unfinished. While we’ve managed to keep the government up and running for now, I would remind my Republican colleagues that another deadline is looming, and it’s critical we conclude our negotiations before the clock runs out. I’m hopeful that my colleagues in Congress will return in the New Year with a renewed commitment to working together on truly bipartisan priorities for the American people,” said Carper.