We’ve been saying it all along: it’s imperative that budget conferees work to finalize an agreement to put our nation on a fiscally sustainable path, replace the sequester, and prevent another shutdown – and we’re pleased that GOP appropriators agree. Today, Chairman Hal Rogers and 12 Subcommittee Chairs wrote to conferees and Speaker Boehner, urging them to step up the pace, report out an agreement sooner rather than later, and allow for new appropriations bills to replace the CR. Politico reports:
“The thirteen top Republicans on the House Appropriations Committee joined in a letter Monday urging budget negotiators to ‘redouble’ their efforts and report a top-line number for discretionary spending before Thanksgiving — or no later than Dec. 2.”
“‘If a timely agreement is not reached, the likely alternatives could have extremely damaging repercussions,’ warns the letter. It is addressed to the House and Senate Budget committees but appears aimed too at Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), who faces pressure to take a more active role if the talks continue to drift with no resolution in sight.”
“House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) led in organizing the letter. But all 12 of his subcommittee chairs signed on as well, and while typically loyal to Boehner, they represent a serious power bloc if they should ever decide to stand up for themselves and show some muscle.”
“‘The failure to reach a budget deal to allow Appropriations to assemble funding for 2014 will reopen the specter of another government shutdown,’ the letter says. ‘Second it will reopen the probability of governance by continuing resolution, based on prior year outdated spending needs and priorities, dismissing in one fell swoop all the work done by Congress to enact appropriations bills …that reflect the will of Congress and the people we represent. Third, the current sequester and the upcoming ‘Second Sequester’ in January would result in more indiscriminate across the board reductions that could have negative consequences on critically important federal programs, especially our national defense.’”
Couldn’t have said it better ourselves. We hope Speaker Boehner and House Republican conferees will take note of their colleagues’ plea and reach agreement as soon as possible to give certainty to our economy and the American people.