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Avoiding the Government Shutdown: Wicker, Cochran Say Plan is Good Temporarily

WASHINGTON, D.C.–A shutdown of the federal government might have meant some of the services you’re used to getting would have been interrupted. It also might’ve meant you wouldn’t get a check, if you depend on the feds for that. But, Wednesday the U.S. Senate approved a bill that will keep things running through Dec. 11.

But, that’s a mere two more months and both Mississippi senators say Congress has a lot of work to do in that time to get a budget passed that will make sure the government doesn’t spend more than it should.

“This short-term measure creates a window of opportunity for us to get to work.  Let’s not waste it,” said Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.).  “A continuing resolution is not a good governing strategy, but was made necessary by the blanket filibuster of all the appropriations bills.  This refusal to consider spending measures has deprived all Senators of an opportunity to debate the stewardship of taxpayers’ dollars.  Our committee is ready for these bills to be called up so that Senators are able to give voice to the priorities and values of the people who elected them.”

This year marks the first since 2009 that all 12 annual appropriations bills have been approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee, with most of them receiving broad bipartisan support.

“The 30 Senators on the committee made thoughtful, responsible, and frequently bipartisan decisions about how to best prioritize funding to improve government operations, and where necessary, rein in executive overreach,” said Cochran.  “Within established budget caps, these bills provide the highest level of support for our men and women in uniform, invest wisely in national priorities like medical and scientific research, and promote the more efficient operation of our federal government with more oversight.”

“Failure to debate and pass appropriations bills is an abdication of a fundamental congressional responsibility.  I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to allow debate on these bills.  It is the only way to make the thoughtful, deliberate spending decisions that the American people deserve,” he concluded.

Wicker echoed Cochran’s thoughts, saying the extension was needed because Senate Democrats, despite their previous support, have blocked efforts to bring individual appropriations bills to the Senate floor for consideration.

“Earlier this year, Congress passed a tough budget resolution that set strict caps on government spending,” said Wicker. “The proposal that passed the Senate today adheres to those limits. Combined with the spending cuts that we have made over the past few years, it keeps us on a path toward making Washington smaller and more accountable.

“This temporary measure gives us additional time to work on more long-term spending bills that comply with the budget and fight the egregious executive overreach of the Obama Administration.”

Wicker has supported efforts to redirect federal funding for Planned Parenthood to women’s health programs and community health centers. More than 190 community health sites are located throughout Mississippi to help address health needs, compared to only one Planned Parenthood location.

“The fight to end federal support of Planned Parenthood is not over. I remain committed to holding Planned Parenthood responsible for its actions and shielding taxpayers from funding it. I am pleased that this bill reaffirms important pro-life protections, such as the Hyde Amendment.”

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