Washington, DC – Today, Congressman Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), a member of the House Budget and Ways and Means Committees, issued the following statement after voting against a continuing resolution funding the government through the end of the fiscal year:
“I voted against the continuing resolution because it reflects seriously misplaced priorities. What we are having right now is not just a budget battle; it is a fundamental debate about the direction and values of this country. Cutting nutrition aid for women and children during an economic recession is heartless. Cutting programs that not only benefit farmers but help protect the environment, wildlife, water quality and erosion control is stupid. Reducing funding the state revolving fund that helps rebuild local sewer and water systems around the country is folly. These programs create jobs and improve the health of communities.
“I also voted against the CR because it endorses Republican brinkmanship that encourages political hostage taking with disastrous results far in excess of any potential advantage gained. Simply because a minority of Congress feels empowered to do things to government operations that are truly irrational destroys the credibility of this legislative body. It must stop. The only way it will stop is if the attention and resulting fury of the American public is focused on it.
“This legislation represents a failure to deal with entrenched political interests at a time of heightened awareness, attention, and controversy around our budgets. We should be doing better not worse.
“The next act in this sad drama – dealing with the increase of the debt ceiling, which will absolutely be approved – is already underway. The United States has no choice. Even pretending that we won’t raise the debt ceiling risks consequences far more serious than the added interest costs that the U.S. would face, which would total approximately two thirds of a billion dollars a day for every percentage increase in our national debt interest rate.
“We should call the question as soon as possible to attempt to rein in an ongoing political strategy that will simply move us from one crisis to the next, whether it is a future increase in the debt ceiling, expiring tax provisions, or the next budget cliff. We must stop now. The best step is to draw the line before it goes any further to increase the likelihood that people will begin to act responsibly.”