“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.”