Home Mark Warner Senators Warner, Kaine: “We oppose the House Continuing Resolution, which punts budget...

Senators Warner, Kaine: “We oppose the House Continuing Resolution, which punts budget discussions until mid-February.”

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The following statement is from Senators Warner and Kaine; thanks for standing up for Virginia, for Federal workers, for DREAMers, etc., all of whom are being (badly) hurt by Republicans. Also, see below the statement for Sen. Kaine’s “tweetstorm” on all this…

WARNER & KAINE STATEMENT ON HOUSE CONTINUING RESOLUTION

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Mark Warner, a member of the Senate Finance and Budget Committees, and Tim Kaine, a member of the Senate Armed Services and Budget Committees, released the following statement opposing the one-month Continuing Resolution scheduled for a vote in the House today, which would perpetuate budgetary dysfunction and uncertainty for Virginia and the nation:

“We oppose the House Continuing Resolution, which punts budget discussions until mid-February. Congress should remain in session with no recess until we work out a long-term bipartisan budget deal that addresses all issues. We will support a short-term CR for a few days to keep the government open while we stay in town and conclude our negotiations.  But we do not support perpetuating the current budgetary dysfunction that is hurting our country and our Commonwealth. The Republican leadership has to get serious about finding a budget deal and quit relying on short-term patches.

“This is the fourth CR since the start of the fiscal year and would take us into the fifth month of the year with no budget deal. One-month CRs hurt all spending priorities and create deep uncertainty.  This pain is particularly acute in Virginia, which is home to hundreds of thousands of government employees, kids who rely on CHIP, military families, and national security professionals. Recently, Defense Secretary Mattis came to the Senate and appealed to us that we not pass another CR but instead do a full budget deal. As Senators who represent the state most connected to the military, we know he is right and know these continued gimmicks hurt our troops in Virginia and across the globe.

“The current CR ignores key priorities—community health centers, permanent protection for Dreamers, emergency relief for Florida, Texas, western states ravaged by wildfires, Puerto Rico, the USVI, opioid treatment, and pension reform.  These issues are not going away and need to be addressed immediately. We gave negotiators time to reach a bipartisan agreement to protect Dreamers and now they have a deal. This must be part of the negotiations, and there should be a vote on the compromise – or a clean Dream Act – without further delay.

“Finally, the President’s repeated statements urging a government shutdown are beneath the office and have heightened the budgetary dysfunction.  And his determined efforts to blow up any and all bipartisan discussions around Dreamers demonstrate that he is not interested in governing. He has to decide whether he wants to be President and engage in necessary compromise, or continue offering commentary from the sidelines.”

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Sen. Kaine’s “tweetstorm”:

Budgetary dysfunction is hurting our country and my Commonwealth. I oppose the current CR, and Congress should remain in session with no recess until we work out a long-term bipartisan budget deal that addresses all issues.

Repeated one-month CRs hurt all spending priorities and create deep uncertainty. The pain is particularly acute in Virginia—home to hundreds of thousands of government employees, kids who rely on CHIP, military families, Dreamers and national security professionals.

The current CR ignores key priorities—community health centers, permanent protection for Dreamers, emergency relief for FL/TX/CA/PR/USVIs, opioid treatment, and more. These issues are not going away and need to be addressed immediately.

In December, I voted to give negotiators time to reach a bipartisan agreement to permanently protect Dreamers and now they have a deal. This must be part of the negotiations, and there should be a vote on the compromise–or a clean Dream Act–without further delay.

President Trump is cheerleading a shutdown, and his statements continue to heighten our budgetary dysfunction. He has to decide whether he wants to be President or continue acting like a political talk show host loudly offering inane, offensive commentary from the sidelines.

President Trump would rather sabotage negotiations on a spending bill via Twitter than be the dealmaker he claimed to be. Apparently coming to the table to craft a compromise is harder than hiding in “Executive Time.”

  • Beyer and Wittman Introduce Bill To Protect Federal Workers’ Pay As Threat of Government Shutdown Grows

    January 18, 2018 (Washington, D.C.) – Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) and Rep. Rob Wittman (R-VA) today introduced the Federal Employee Retroactive Pay Fairness Act, legislation to guarantee back pay to furloughed workers in the event of a government shutdown. Funding for the federal government expires at midnight tomorrow.

    “We are working hard to avoid a government shutdown, but if it comes our bill would protect federal workers from the worst of the consequences,” said Rep. Beyer. “This legislation is designed to shield civil servants, who need to support their families, from the disastrous effects of Congress’ failure to agree on a budget measure. We hope it will not be needed, but time is running out.”

    The bill was introduced with 40 bipartisan cosponsors.

    “Federal employees should not be penalized for Congress’ inability to get its job done on time,” Rep. Wittman said. “This legislation sends a clear signal to our federal workers that they will not be harmed in the unfortunate event of a shutdown. While this legislation would minimize the impacts of funding uncertainty, my focus remains on returning Congress to a regular schedule of budgeting and passing appropriations bills.”

    Together the two Virginia Congressmen represent nearly 120,000 federal employees.

    “AFGE would like to thank Congressman Beyer (D-VA) and Congressman Wittman (R-VA) for introducing the ‘Federal Employee Retroactive Pay Fairness Act,’” said American Federation of Government Employees National President J. David Cox. “Federal employees are hardworking public servants who are dedicated to providing quality public services. Federal employees and their families should not be forced to go without pay when they are not allowed to do their jobs because Congress cannot pass a funding measure. Too many Americans—veterans, seniors, and other hardworking people rely on services provided by the federal government. In a government shutdown, it is the American people who pay the price.”

    A shutdown would temporarily suspend paychecks for federal employees, and retroactive pay for federal workers must be approved by Congress. The Beyer-Wittman legislation would guarantee that no federal employees would lose pay if a government shutdown occurs.

    “The National Treasury Employees Union applauds Rep. Beyer and Rep. Wittman for introducing this legislation,” said NTEU National President Tony Reardon. “They recognize that frontline federal employees should not lose pay in the event of a shutdown of the federal government. These employees do not control the funding of the federal government and should not suffer when that funding runs out. I hope we do not get to the shutdown stage but I support this effort to protect the federal workforce.”

    ext of HR 4827, the Federal Employee Retroactive Pay Fairness Act, can be found here.