Sen. Chris Coons issued a statement Jan. 19 in opposition to the House Republicans’ partisan bill to extend government funding for one month while ignoring important issues Congress must address.
The federal government will run out of operating funds at midnight Jan. 20.
“At some point, Congress needs to do better than government-by-crisis, short-term fixes and sidestepping difficult issues. That time is now. With government funding set to run out tomorrow night, I don’t reach this conclusion lightly, and I still believe we can keep the government open, solve the issues we’ve failed to address for several months, and govern this country the way the American people expect us to, but the short-term bill that House Republicans passed tonight simply doesn’t meet the test of basic governance,” said Coons.
“This bill avoids solving our months-overdue challenge of adequately funding our military, which is already stretched too thin, and providing a balanced overall plan for spending. This one-month temporary patch ignores the fact that Florida, Texas, California, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands are still in desperate need of relief from natural disasters that happened months ago now. It leaves unfunded Community Health Centers that thousands of Delawareans rely on for basic health needs. Finally, this bill effectively tells Dreamers, whom President Trump has arbitrarily sentenced to deportation beginning on March 5, that this country doesn’t want them here. Failing to address all these issues is no way to run a country, and I will not support it,” said Coons.
“It doesn’t have to be this way. There is a bipartisan, compromise immigration deal that would protect Dreamers, invest in our border security and make common sense reforms to our immigration system. Democrats are more than willing to make new investments in the military as part of a sensible, long-term spending bill. We can re-authorize and fund the Children’s Health Insurance Program and Community Health Centers, and we can lend a helping hand to millions of hurricane and wildfire victims who need assistance,” said Coons.
“We can get back to setting a budget every year, making smart investments and compromising between the parties to operate the United States government the way it should be. The reality, though, is that Republicans, who control the White House, the House of Representatives and the Senate, are right now unable to govern effectively and refuse to work across the aisle in a meaningful way,” said Coons.
“I’ve spent the last several weeks working to find a way to keep the government open and address these issues with both my Democratic and Republican colleagues. If the government shuts down tomorrow, I will continue to work to ensure that any potential shutdown is a short one. If, over the next day, it appears that serious bipartisan negotiations are underway and we can conclude them by keeping the government open a few days, I would support that, but the fact is that we need to move past this impasse for good,” said Coons.