House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers made remarks today in response to Senate Majority Leader Reid's refusal to act on a single Appropriations bill before the November elections.
The statement by House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers follows:
"It is extremely disappointing that the Senate Democrat leadership is defaulting on their most basic fiscal duty as representatives of the people of this country. The 12 annual Appropriations bills cannot be swept under the rug and ignored until a more convenient political time. They can, and must, be dealt with in a judicious and responsible manner -- else the nation will once again face the economic danger and instability of threats of a government shut-down.
"Claims by Leader Reid and his staff that they somehow can't even begin their Appropriations work because of separate actions by the House are simply absurd. The Senate is an equal legislative branch, and Senate Democrats are in no way constrained from acting separately to pass Appropriations bills that reflect their own views, spending levels, and budget priorities. The House and the Senate are free to disagree, and frequently do, but that should not give cause for one whole legislative branch to act like impudent children, effectively "taking their ball and going home." It is not responsible, it is not conscionable, and it is not what the American people want or deserve from their elected United States Senators."
The 12 annual Appropriations bills fund the basic, core functions of the federal government, including the programs, projects, and services on which the American people rely. Without the approval of this legislation, the country could face an economically devastating government-shut down. In contrast to the Senate, the House Appropriations Committee has cleared 11 of the 12 annual funding bills, and the House has passed six, with another set to be considered next week. The annual deadline for enactment of this legislation is September 30th.