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Remarks on Fiscal Year 2017 Continuing Resolution

December 8, 2016
Remarks on Fiscal Year 2017 Continuing Resolution

Congressman David E. Price

Remarks on Fiscal Year 2017 Continuing Resolution

House Floor

December 8, 2016

I am pleased that the Continuing Resolution includes significant funding to help ensure that North Carolina and other affected states have the resources necessary to recover and rebuild in the wake of Hurricane Matthew and other major storms that struck earlier this year.

As North Carolina’s lone member on the Appropriations Committee, securing this funding has been my top priority since Hurricane Matthew made landfall, and I am grateful for the bipartisan cooperation of our congressional delegation and the Appropriations Committee leadership throughout this process.

The bill before us also includes critical funding to address the Flint water crises, our national opioid epidemic, and Vice President Biden’s cancer “moonshot.”

While it is heartening to see these efforts bear fruit, this bipartisan approach stands in stark contrast to how the Republican leadership has managed the appropriations end-game this year.

Rather than work in a productive manner with Democrats to finalize our fiscal year 2017 appropriations bills, the Republican leadership of the House has again decided—this time in connivance with the Trump transition—to abandon the appropriations bills we negotiated in good faith in favor of yet another stopgap measure, this one arbitrarily lasting for five months.

This does not bode well for the appropriations process; we have heard the alarm bells sounded during this debate by appropriations leaders from both sides of the aisle. And make no mistake there are also immediate consequences: this CR will damage HUD programs that serve our most vulnerable populations.  It will also prevent states from receiving new highway and transit funding called for in the bipartisan FAST Act.

The CR also contains a partisan anti-safety provision that would block overnight rest requirements for commercial truck drivers, endangering highway travel for millions of drivers across the country.

Perhaps most egregious, as well as unprecedented, is inclusion of a waiver for President-elect Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Defense.

Whatever the merits of this nomination, setting aside the seven-year waiting period designed to protect civilian control of the military deserves more deliberation and debate than this CR provides.

As we enter a period of political uncertainty, I hope that we can commit in future fiscal years to an appropriations process that allows us to exercise the power of the purse in a measured and bipartisan way.