Mr. COCHRAN. Mr. President, agreeing to put the government on autopilot for 6 months is no great achievement. It simply means more drift. It means a longer period of uncertainty for government agencies and the people they serve, more spending on ineffective programs and outdated priorities, and inadequate investment in programs that merit additional resources.
My preference is that we complete our work and make specific spending choices based on the relative merits of government programs. There is no excuse for the Senate not to be considering the appropriations bills. Our committee members have done the work of scrutinizing budgets, holding hearings, and drafting bills. Those bills deserve to be considered by the Senate, negotiated with the House and sent to the President as soon as possible.
I congratulate the distinguished chairman of our Committee on Appropriations, Mr. Inouye, for his dependable leadership on getting us to this point. I look forward to continuing our efforts to extend our appropriations authority for the balance of the fiscal year.