Cicilline Leads Dems in Demanding President Keep Government Open, Address Bipartisan Priorities

Thursday, January 18, 2018

 

WASHINGTON – As President Trump and the Republicans who control Congress struggle to avoid a Federal government shutdown, U.S. Congressmen David N. Cicilline (RI-01), Peter Welch (VT-AL), and Hakeem Jeffries (NY-08) today led 168 of their House colleagues in a letter to the President that outlines key priorities that must be addressed in any spending bill passed by Congress.

“Mr. President, it is clear that your budget priorities and ours are in significant conflict. However, there are many bipartisan priorities that we can swiftly deliver for the good of the American people, in addition to keeping government open without interruption,” the Members wrote. “If we can’t agree, your party has the majority in the House and the Senate to pass your own funding resolution. But that will be a bill we cannot support.”

The full text of the letter delivered to President Trump is embedded below.

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Dear Mr. President,

As you know, the Republican Congress must pass a funding resolution by January 19 to keep government open.  Indeed, as we approach this latest deadline, Congress faces a long list of urgent, overdue priorities for the American people.

With Republicans in control of the House, the Senate and the White House, you do not need Democrats’ votes to keep government open.  In any upcoming negotiations, however, Democrats will press for the inclusion of the following bipartisan items, among others:

·         Preserving the agreement in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 that required increased spending to be spread evenly between defense spending and non-defense discretionary accounts which have both been harmed by the ongoing sequester;

·         Delivering urgently needed resources for communities fighting the deadly opioid epidemic;

·         Rescuing our heroic veterans who are facing a dire shortfall at the VA;

·         Protecting Dreamers, whom you have publicly supported, by passing the Dream Act;

·         Supporting access to health care by providing critical funding for CHIP and CHCs;

·         Preserving Americans’ endangered pensions by enacting a responsible reform plan;

·         Providing additional disaster recovery funding for Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Texas, Florida, and states impacted by wildfires.

Mr. President, it is clear that your budget priorities and ours are in significant conflict.  However, there are many bipartisan priorities that we can swiftly deliver for the good of the American people, in addition to keeping government open without interruption.

If we can’t agree, your party has the majority in the House and the Senate to pass your own funding resolution. But that will be a bill we cannot support.

Thank you for your attention to our concerns.

Sincerely,

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