Blue Dog Leadership Statement on House Passage of the Continuing Resolution
WASHINGTON—Today, the co-chair of the fiscally-responsible, Democratic Blue Dog Coalition, Rep. Lou Correa (CA-46), released the following statement in response to the House passage of a Continuing Resolution to fund the federal government through November 21, 2019:
“So far, the House has passed 10 bills to fund most of the federal government through the end of fiscal year 2020, but the Senate has passed none. A lack of action by Congress has brought us to today’s Continuing Resolution, which is only a temporary fix to avoid an even worse result, a federal government shutdown. A divided government requires both parties to come together to reach a long-term, bipartisan budget agreement that will deliver certainty to the American people rather than lurch from one temporary fix to another. It is our hope that Congress will use this additional time to reach an agreement that puts our nation on the path to fiscal sustainability.
“There is no question that the budget process in Washington is broken. Each year, Congress has an October 1 deadline to enact all 12 of its full-year appropriations bills. Just like Christmas day, this date never changes. Yet, Congress has enacted all appropriations bills on time only twice in the past 27 years. That’s why the Blue Dogs have backed key budgetary reforms, including the No Budget, No Pay Act, which would halt paychecks for all House and Senate members if they miss annual deadlines for budget and appropriations bills. Congress should live by the same rules the American people abide by every day: Do your job and do it on time, or you don’t get paid.”
A recent bipartisan Senate report revealed that over the past five years, the federal government has been fully or partially shut down for a total of 54 days, costing the American taxpayers nearly $4 billion, including $3.8 billion in back pay to federal workers who were furloughed and prohibited from going to work, and at least $338 million in other costs associated with shutdowns, including extra administrative work, lost revenue, and late fees on interest payments. According to the report, the total amount of combined employee furlough days represents an estimated 56,938 years of lost productivity.
In addition to backing the No Budget, No Pay Act, the Blue Dogs have endorsed other measures to force regular order in the budget and appropriations processes, including the Government Shutdown Impact Report of 2019, which would require the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to prepare a daily report on the economic cost and the damage to our national security in the event of another government shutdown. Under the leadership of Reps. Ben McAdams (UT-04) and Ed Case (HI-01), the Blue Dogs also released a Blueprint for Fiscal Reform where they reiterated their call for strict, enforceable spending caps to ensure a fiscally-responsible federal budget.