Mr. PAYNE. Mr. Speaker, repeatedly, Republicans have reprimanded Senate Democrats, claiming budget negotiations have stalled because the Senate has failed to pass a budget. Now, Senate Democrats have done their part. Republican leaders in the House must do the same by convening a conference committee to resolve our budget differences openly and honestly. That is a procedure that the Congress has always followed. That is regular order.
The best interests of the American people shouldn't have to sit on the back burner any longer. Unemployment remains too high, wages are stagnant, and sequestration is taking its toll. We need to address our country's challenges and create jobs, reduce the deficit, and strengthen our middle class while creating ladders of opportunity for those to climb into the middle class.
These are our top priorities. Sometimes these priorities get lost in the shuffle of partisan bickering. I urge Republican leadership to follow regular order and create a conference committee now.