Congressman Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico's Third District voted tonight for compromise legislation that will end the government shutdown, raise the debt ceiling so the government can pay its bills, and establishes a conference committee for the House and Senate to negotiate on a budget for the coming year.
"While I would have preferred legislation that extends the debt limit for a longer period of time and that funds the government at a higher level, this represents a compromise that will finally end the government shutdown that has hurt families in New Mexico and protect the full faith and credit of our nation by ensuring we do not default for the first time in history," Congressman Luján said.
Under the legislation, the shutdown will end and the government will be funded until January 15. The debt ceiling will be lifted until February 7. House and Senate negotiators will form a conference committee aimed at hammering out a compromise on a budget plan by December 13.
"This legislation, while not perfect, will ensure that New Mexico's national labs stay open, furloughed employees can get back on the job, and that services for the most vulnerable will no longer be delayed. It puts an end to the political games that have gone on too long," Luján added. "It is deeply disappointing that once again, manufactured crises have taken a toll on our economy and on the day-to-day lives of people in New Mexico who have had to go without a paycheck or the benefits they count on. For too long, the extreme elements of one party let the pursuit of ideological gains trump common sense. I am hopeful that we can move forward, having learned a lesson that holding the country hostage over government funding and the threat of default is reckless and irresponsible. It is now time to get to work on a budget that addresses the arbitrary cuts of the sequester and puts our country on a path forward that will grow our economy and lead to job creation."