U.S. Representative Rodney Frelinghuysen (NJ-11) today announced his support for legislation considered by the House today to fund the operations of the Department of Defense through next September and continue operations of the entire federal government for another week as ongoing budget negotiations continue. H.R. 1363, the "Department of Defense and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2011", includes $516 billion in funding for operations of the Department of Defense and the Global War on Terror through the end of the fiscal year. In addition, the bill also provides the third short-term continuing resolution of the 112th Congress, funding all other federal agencies for an additional week, though April 15, 2011.
"There is no reason why our men and women in uniform should be caught in the middle of a political struggle here in Washington," said Frelinghuysen, a senior Member of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. "Tens of thousands of soldiers, Marines, sailors and airmen and women are deployed in harm's way defending America. They do not deserve to go without a paycheck. Their families do not deserve this treatment."
The Defense funding portion of H.R. 1363 was drafted and agreed to on a bipartisan basis in 2010. Yet, the bill has languished since then, causing significant disruption to many military operations.
H.R. 1363 also funds operations of the federal government for another week.
"The people of New Jersey want two things: they want us to cut federal spending significantly AND they want their federal government to stay open for business. There is no reason we cannot do both without the budget gimmicks and tricks Senate Democrats have proposed and the President is supporting.
"Remember, we're only talking about a government shutdown today because the Democrats failed to pass a budget or ANY appropriations bills all last year. Instead, they've worked to spend as much as possible, regardless of the long-term effects: continued high-unemployment and a record national debt."
In addition to today's passage of H.R. 1363, the House has now passed two other bills that would keep the entire federal government operating. H.R. 1, which cut $61 billion in job destroying spending, passed on February 19. H.R. 1255 passed the House on April 1.
It has been 47 days since House Republicans passed the first bill to keep the entire government running through the end of this fiscal year, but 47 days later the Senate has yet to pass any bill to keep the entire government running through the end of the fiscal year.
In addition, the House also passed a measure that would prevent Members of Congress from being paid during any government shutdown.
Frelinghuysen, who has been granted a medical leave of absence from the House while he recuperates from hip surgery, did not cast a vote on H.R. 1363. The bill was approved by the House by a vote of 247-184.