MESSAGE FROM THE DEMOCRATIC WHIP
This week, President Obama announced several new actions that his administration is taking to encourage businesses to bring jobs and innovation back to the United States by helping innovators access federal research and development facilities, and encouraging local communities to support manufacturing entrepreneurship. These actions are an important step to create more opportunities for Americans to achieve a secure place in our middle class, while increasing our nation’s competitiveness. They also complement House Democrats’ Make It In America jobs plan to revitalize American manufacturing. I hope House Republicans will work with Democrats to build on the actions taken by the President this week, and allow the House to consider Make It In America bills.
As of today, the House has now passed five out of the twelve bills that fund our government. This week, we passed a bill that provides funding for the Defense Department. While I voted for the bill, I opposed the amendments that would keep Guantanamo Bay open indefinitely. Keeping Guantanamo Bay open undermines our American values and is fiscally irresponsible, costing American tax payers over $2 million per year per detainee. I was also concerned that the Defense appropriations bill avoids the hard choices necessary to put our nation on a fiscally sustainable path.
In addition to completing the seven remaining appropriations bills, Congress must take action on important issues such as comprehensive immigration reform, protecting voting rights, and raising the minimum wage, all of which enjoy support from the majority of Americans. Additionally, there is a long list of legislative items that Congress must address quickly, including the Highway Trust Fund, which provides critical funding for transportation projects and is expected to go bankrupt by the end of July, and the Export-Import Bank, whose authorization will expire at the end of September, leaving our nation without a critical resource to keep our exporters competitive in the global market place. I look forward to work with the new House Republican leadership to tackle these priorities in the coming weeks before the clock runs out.
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