Elaine Luria to Senate: Get to work already

Elaine LuriaCongresswoman Elaine Luria (VA-02) is calling on the Senate to quickly pass spending bills so the House and Senate can agree on a final bill that funds the federal government for the entire upcoming fiscal year – not just a few weeks.

Senate committees haven’t passed a single appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2020, which begins Oct. 1. In contrast, the full House has already passed the critical Defense and Military Construction spending bills. This is important to Congresswoman Luria’s district, where the defense and ship repair industries have a huge community presence.

“In Congress, our core function is keeping the government open and working for the American people. The Senate needs to get to work and pass its funding bills so Congress can provide certainty to the American people. It’s unacceptable that similar drama surfaces every year,” Congresswoman Luria said. “Mere months ago, thousands of Department of Homeland Security employees – including hundreds of Coast Guardsmen, Customs and Border Protection agents, and Transportation Security Administration officers in our district – were forced to work without pay. Short-term spending hurts our Navy, shipbuilding industry, and overall workforce. We need to fully fund the government on time.”

Instead, media reports say Congress next week is likely to vote on a continuing resolution through Thanksgiving, freezing spending levels and spurring national uncertainty as soon as late November. Congresswoman Luria would support such a measure to avoid a government shutdown, but strongly prefers a process that promotes responsible budgeting, long-term funding, and stability for industry.

In July, Congresswoman Luria voted for a bipartisan budget agreement that would permanently end sequestration, protect the full faith and credit of the United States, promote military readiness in Hampton Roads, and prevent another government shutdown.

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