Durbin Applauds Bipartisan Appropriations Negotiations In The Senate, Calls On House Leadership To Take Up Serious Effort To Fund Government

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, delivered a speech on the Senate floor on the historic undertaking of passing 12 appropriations bills through the Senate as Congress has relied on funding the government through omnibus spending bills for more than five years.   

“What you’ve just witnessed here is, we hope, a new day in the United States Senate.  You see, we have the responsibility of appropriating the money for the federal government.  We do it in 12 different bills.  Total costs to taxpayers and resources for the government come to the neighborhood of a trillion dollars.  So it’s a big undertaking,” Durbin said.  “For five years, we’ve failed to pass those 12 bills individually.  We passed them in a group known as an omnibus.”

Durbin continued, “This year, we decided, in the Senate, to do it differently, to try to do it better.  What we’ve done through the Appropriations Committee, which I serve on, is to take up each individual bill of the 12 bills.  We’re trying to pass them on a bipartisan basis.”

Durbin went on to commend his Senate colleagues, U.S. Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Susan Collins (R-ME), Chair and Ranking Member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, for their bipartisan efforts to negotiate and pass 12 separate bills out of the Appropriations Committee and bring them to the Senate floor.

“We picked two of the best legislators in the Senate to accomplish this, Senator Patty Murray, from the state of Washington and a Democrat, and Senator Susan Collins, a Republican from Maine.  The two of them did miracle work in the Committee. They got all 12 bills individually passed,” Durbin said. 

“This isn’t an easy chamber to get things done in.  But I think we’re on the right track.  It’s a bipartisan undertaking.  We’re considering each of the bills, subjecting them to amendments, just the way it used to be for many years, formany decades… Contrast that with what’s going on in the House of Representatives.  At this point, they can’t pass any bills… Now they’re considering a bill for short-term spending for our government.  Speaker McCarthy said he’d call it for a vote this week.  I don’t know if it’ll pass or not,”Durbin continued.

Durbin concluded his remarks by urging his House colleagues to seriously consider the repercussions of a government shutdown and encouraged them to take up an orderly appropriations process as Murray and Collins have demonstrated.

“I hope that the Republican leadership in the House of Representatives can get their act together.  We’ll find out this week… This is a historic, bipartisan undertaking.  I think the American people, more than anything, want us to get along and work together to solve some problems.  This would be a step in that direction,” Durbin concluded.

Video of Durbin’s floor speech is available here.

Audio of Durbin’s floor speech is available here.

Footage of Durbin’s floor speech is available here for TV Stations.