Senator Collins’ Statement on Passage of Short-Term Government Funding Bill
Washington, D.C. — After voting in support of the continuing resolution to fund the government through April 28, 2017, which passed by a vote of 63-36, U.S. Senator Susan Collins, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and the Chairman of the Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations Subcommittee, released the following statement:
“While I fundamentally disagree with funding our government through continuing resolutions, I voted to support this bill in order to prevent a government shutdown and to ensure that the essential functions of our government do not lapse.
“Were it not necessary to keep the government open and operating, I would have voted against this stop-gap measure. Continuing resolutions put our government on autopilot, funding outdated programs at rates that may not be appropriate and locking in the previous year’s priorities. These measures also create uncertainty, delay the start of vital programs, and end up costing the government more money.
“As a Subcommittee chairman and senior member of the Appropriations Committee, I find these continuing resolutions particularly frustrating. This year, the Appropriations Committee successfully followed the regular order and completed work on all 12 funding bills, passing many of them with unanimous support. Several of these individual funding bills were brought before the full Senate for members to examine, debate, and vote on in a transparent manner. In fact, under my leadership, the full Senate passed in May an appropriations bill I authored with Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) with overwhelming bipartisan support, 89-8. The legislation incorporated recommendations from more than 75 Senators and would have made vital investments in our nation’s infrastructure, helped meet the housing needs of the most vulnerable among us, and provided funding for economic development projects that create jobs in our communities.
“Despite my deep frustrations with this measure, there are some important new provisions in the continuing resolution. For example, there is funding for state grants that will supplement opioid abuse and treatment programs. Those funds are particularly important to Maine, which is now losing approximately one person per day to this horrible epidemic. The continuing resolution also includes $872 million to fund the recently passed 21st Century Cures bill, which included five provisions I authored. In addition, there is $170 million to address the drinking water crisis in cities such as Flint, Michigan, and funding for lead exposure programs, which is important for schools and homes in states like Maine that have a very old housing stock. The bill also incorporates the Security Assistance Appropriations Act, which provides an additional $10.1 billion in Overseas Contingency Operations funding to pay for costs related to counterterrorism operations.
“Finally, this bill is important for what it does not include. It does not include a House proposed cut in the funding for the Arleigh Burke-class (DDG-51) destroyers built by Bath Iron Works.
“Moving forward, Congress must abandon these stop-gap measures and return to funding the government through regular order.”
Post expires at 5:37pm on Wednesday January 11th, 2017