Langevin Statement on Passage of Stopgap Government Funding Bill

Sep 22, 2020 Issues: Budget, Rhode Island

WASHINGTON – Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI) issued the following statement after voting in favor of H.R. 8337, a bipartisan bill to fund the government through December 11, which passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 359-57:

“As we face unprecedented health and economic challenges, the American people need to know that the Federal government is working for them. While I wish my Republican colleagues in the Senate had done their Constitutional duty and passed even one appropriations bill on time, I am grateful that we were able to work across the aisle to avert a government shutdown that would only exacerbate the challenges we face today.

“Today’s vote will ensure that Federal government agencies are adequately funded over the next two months. Beyond extending baseline funding, it ensures the Columbia-class submarine program, which is so important to national security and to Rhode Island workers at Quonset Point, will be able to get off the ground. It also includes important extensions to pandemic-related nutrition programs and saves seniors from Medicare premium hikes.

“However, today’s vote also represents a missed opportunity. The House has acted with urgency and passed ten of the twelve appropriations bills to fund the government ahead of this month’s deadline. The Republican controlled Senate has passed none. The House under Democratic leadership has passed a $1.5 trillion infrastructure package to fix our aging bridges and roads. The Senate under Republican leadership has passed nothing. And, for four months, the Heroes Act, vital legislation to address the fallout from the pandemic, has been sitting on the Senate Majority Leader’s desk.

“Although this stopgap funding measure is necessary, it is only temporary—we must pass full-year appropriations bills as soon as possible. I’ll continue to work with my colleagues to advance bipartisan legislation that helps all Americans, but I fear Mitch McConnell’s myopic focus on judicial nominees will continue to harm the nation and Rhode Islanders.”