WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Earl Blumenauer, a senior member of the House Ways & Means and Budget Committees, issued the following statement in the wake of last night’s failure in the House of Representatives of a Continuing Resolution to fund government operations:

“The budget debate in Congress has effectively been reduced to an argument over which of our feet to shoot.

“The latest example of brinksmanship is that Republicans are holding up urgently-needed disaster relief funds in the wake of Hurricane Irene over demands that the spending be offset elsewhere in the budget. Yet the same Republicans are bitterly defending wasteful tax giveaways to big oil companies and millionaires. This double standard – painful cuts for the people who need help the most, with nothing asked of those who can better afford it – makes it nearly impossible to have a rational conversation about bringing sanity to our budget.

“It doesn’t have to be this hard. Millions remain unemployed or underemployed, and it’s not because businesses don’t have enough money to invest. The problem is that Americans don’t have enough money or confidence to create demand. We need bold investments in the foundations of our prosperity. Rather than laying off teachers and construction workers as Tea Party Republicans are demanding, we should be investing in our schools and rebuilding America. I hope we can set aside this damaging ideological brinksmanship and work together to renew our country.”

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