Durbin Urges Both Chambers to Pass the Senate CR and Fund the Government for the Sake of the American People

In speech on the Senate floor, Durbin slams Speaker McCarthy and House Republicans for their continued failure to reach an agreement to fund the government

WASHINGTON  U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, took to the Senate floor to urge his colleagues in both the Senate and the House of Representatives to pass the Senate Continuing Resolution (CR), which will fund the government until November 17th and avert an immediate government shutdown.  The bipartisan Senate CR provides vital funding to support communities struck by disaster; includes funds for Ukraine at a pivotal moment in its defense efforts; ensures the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) can continue operations and community health centers can continue serving patients across America; prevents heroic federal wildland firefighters from seeing a pay cut on October 1; and ensures that the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) can continue to serve the nearly seven million women and children who count on the program.

During his speech, Durbin also condemned Speaker McCarthy and House Republicans for their failure to reach an agreement to fund the government.  The House Republicans’ proposal would cut millions from public health, child care, education, food safety, law enforcement, housing, and more. 

“The Senate I believe has taken a responsible, thoughtful approach to this [funding the government]… We had a procedural vote in the Senate on the Senate bipartisan Continuing Resolution and 77 Senators voted in favor… I would quickly add that the efforts of Senator Murray and Senator Collins in the Appropriations Committee leading up to this moment were historic in nature.  It's been more than five years since we've come to the floor and actually debated spending bills and actually amended spending bills on the floor,” said Durbin. 

“Unfortunately, over in the House, Speaker McCarthy has declared this bipartisan Senate CR dead on arrival… Forreasons beyond my understanding, he has chosen the far-right rebellion of a few MAGA House Republicans over the continued orderly work of our government.  He has chosen to put partisanship and politics above the American people.  Forhowever long it takes the Speaker to gain control of this small faction of his party, essential social services will be slowed and federal employees and military servicemembers will go without paychecks for their families.  This group of extreme Republicans is intent on slashing millions from social programs, and attaching their political agenda for the border, before they’ll even begin to discuss keeping the government open.  The American people deserve better.  [They’re] not a bargaining chip,” Durbin continued.

The last full shutdown in 2013 reduced GDP growth by $20 billion and the five-week partial shutdown in 2018 reduced economic output by $11 billion.  They force federal employees to go without paychecks—to either work without pay or be furloughed.  The last three government shutdowns led to 56,940 years in lost productivity and cost the government at least $338 million in additional costs and late fees. 

“I urge my House Republican colleagues to resist making shutdowns a five-year tradition.  If we have the option of keeping the government funded while we continue to negotiate a longer-term funding plan, why put the nation through the pain?  Funding the government is one of the essential parts of this job.  It's time that we meet our responsibility and do it in a way that doesn't disrupt America's livelihood and well-being.  We need to finish the full-year appropriations process.  I urge my colleagues in both chambers to choose bipartisanship and pass the Senate Continuing Resolution so we can continue the important process of funding the government in a grown-up, responsible way for 2024,” Durbin concluded.

Video of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here.

Audio of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here.

Footage of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is availablehere for TV Stations.