Focus Must Remain on Appropriations Process to Fund the Government
‘I am encouraged that the House will apparently be voting today on a continuing resolution…The House needs to send us a short-term funding bill which the Senate can pass and which the president will sign…while the Senate waits for the House to send us short-term funding legislation, we’ll spend this time on the personnel business.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding the Senate agenda and the need to fund the government and defense, process nominations, pass USMCA:
“My colleagues are well familiar with my repeated calls for bipartisan progress in funding the federal government. For more than two months, as the appropriations process idled at partisan roadblocks, I’ve pointed out just how straightforward this entire process could have been.
“With the roadmap negotiated in July by the president and the Speaker, and approved by each of the congressional leaders, we had the necessary commitments to move forward in good faith and avoid partisan riders that would stall the entire effort.
“Of course, that didn’t happen.
“But failing to secure funding for the federal government before the end of the year is not an option. So Chairman Shelby continues to lead efforts to settle on subcommittee allocations that can earn bipartisan support.
“Today, with these efforts ongoing—and with our deadline to prevent a funding lapse rapidly approaching—I am encouraged that the House will apparently be voting today on a continuing resolution to keep government funded to December 20th while talks continue.
“These talks must continue, because it is vital that we work in good-faith to fund important priorities for the coming year. But what is needed in the near term is to keep government open for the next several weeks while this work goes on.
“So this is not rocket science: The House needs to send us a short-term funding bill which the Senate can pass and which the president will sign. That is the way to keep government open while our important discussions continue to make progress towards closing out the appropriations process and getting full-year bills to the floor.
“Now, on another matter...for weeks, Republicans have been trying to move forward significant, bipartisan legislation for the American people.
“Senate Republicans have tried to get our Democratic colleagues to let us consider defense funding. House Republicans have tried to get Speaker Pelosi to finally allow a vote on the USMCA. And in both chambers, we’ve been asking Democrats to stop slow-walking the conference committee for the critical defense bill, the NDAA.
“Alas, our Democratic colleagues have not yet been willing to budge on any of it.
“So, as a result, while the Senate waits for the House to send us short-term funding legislation, we’ll spend this time on the personnel business.
“Yesterday, we advanced the nomination of Justice Robert Luck of Florida to be a U.S. Circuit Judge for the 11th Circuit with the support of a bipartisan majority. Justice Luck brings an impressive and well-rounded legal record, including a clerkship on the 11th Circuit, service in the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Southern District of Florida, and years spent ruling from the state bench.
“Today, we’ll also vote to advance the nomination of Justice Barbara Lagoa of Florida -- also to serve on the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. A graduate of Columbia University School of Law, Justice Lagoa has spent years practicing law, serving as a federal prosecutor, and ruling from both the state appellate bench and the Florida Supreme Court.
“I look forward to confirming both these impressive nominees along with Adrian Zuckerman, the president’s nominee to serve as our nation’s Ambassador to Romania.”
Related Issues: Free Trade, Nominations, NDAA, Appropriations, Judicial Nominations