Chairman Patty Murray's Statement on the Continuing Resolution to Avoid a Government Shutdown

Washington, D.C.—Today, U.S Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, released the following statement on the Senate proceeding to a debate on the short-term funding bill that would prevent a government shutdown while negotiations continued on a long-term budget deal.

“I am frustrated and disappointed that Republicans’ refusal to come to the table on a long-term budget deal has pushed us to the precipice and forced us to take up yet another short-term bill to prevent a government shutdown. When we send this legislation back to the House, Republicans need to put an end to the Tea Party temper-tantrums, pass our bill without any gimmicks or games, and work with us to create jobs and tackle our deficit and debt responsibly.

“The families I hear from back in Washington state want Congress to put jobs first, stop pushing the country from crisis to crisis, and work together toward a balanced and bipartisan long-term budget deal that is fair for the middle class.

“Preventing the government from shutting down is the absolute bare minimum that Congress should be expected to do, but I am deeply disappointed that we haven’t been able to tackle our long-term economic and fiscal challenges or even settle on a responsible funding level for the coming year. Because Republicans have spent months refusing to join us in budget negotiations, the deeply damaging cuts from sequestration continue to pile up, and they will continue to get worse. Sequestration is costing workers jobs and threatening our fragile economic recovery. It has caused hundreds of thousands of workers to be furloughed at the Department of Defense. It is cutting off support and opportunities for the most vulnerable families and communities. And it is devastating our ability as a nation to plan for the future and invest in 21st century jobs, infrastructure, research and technology, students, and workers. I hear about the impacts of these arbitrary cuts every time I go back home to Washington state, and I know every one of my colleagues in Congress is hearing similar stories from their constituents. Sequestration was never intended to be implemented, both parties have said it is terrible policy, and I am going to keep fighting to replace it in a balanced and fair way.

“It should also be clear that the Tea Party push to cut off health care for millions of Americans is a non-starter in the Senate and a waste of time in the House. I am personally very focused on making sure the benefits of health care reform continue to be rolled out effectively to families and small business owners in Washington state and across the country. As with any law, I am very interested in working with anyone, from any political party, who has ideas about making health care reform work better or help more people. But I join President Obama and the millions of families I represent in proudly fighting to make sure we never go back to the days when the insurance companies were in charge of our health care system, when patients couldn’t get coverage if they had a pre-existing condition, when seniors had to pay far more for their prescriptions, and when women and girls were allowed to be charged more and offered less.”