Jan 20 2018
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) today made the following statement in reaction to Senate Democrats’ failure to support H.R. 195, the Continuing Resolution (CR), causing the government to shut down for the first time since 2013. Government funding expires at midnight January 19. Federal agencies’ and departments’ ability to carry out important work – like fighting the opioid epidemic, reducing the veterans’ claims backlog, and paying our men and women in uniform – will be suspended as a result.
“It is unacceptable that Democrats would vote against a measure to keep our government open to do the work of the American people. I do not believe that shutting down the government is a solution to the problems we face as a country. A shutdown is destructive to the American taxpayer, no matter the circumstances.
“Republicans are working hard to keep the government running, and we also want to approve a long-term reauthorization of CHIP, which provides millions of children with needed health insurance coverage. While a long-term funding measure is preferred, this CR would allow Congress the ability to continue ongoing and proactive negotiations in an effort to approve a bipartisan, bicameral funding bill.
“Democrats have chosen partisan politics over funding our government, funding our troops, and providing health insurance to low-income children and pregnant women. The American people deserve better.”
In addition to maintaining government operations at current funding levels until February 16, the CR included a six-year reauthorization of the Child Health Insurance Program (CHIP). In Alabama, 150,000 children are dependent on CHIP. The measure failed to pass a procedural motion in the Senate but was approved by the House of Representative on Thursday night.