CONGRESSMAN BISHOP STATEMENT ON BIPARTISAN AGREEMENT TO REOPEN THE GOVERNMENT

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (D-GA) released the following statement regarding his support of legislation reopening the government. The bill passed the full U.S. House of Representatives on January 22 in a vote of 266 to 150.

“The shutdown has shocked everyone to the reality of our nation’s dire funding situation. I am relieved that both chambers of Congress have come to a bipartisan agreement to reopen the government. The agreed-upon framework provides a plausible pathway for completing a long-term funding bill, which is desperately needed to provide certainty to families, businesses, agencies, communities, and our armed forces.

“As Defense Secretary James Mattis stated last week:

‘No enemy in the field has done more to harm the readiness of the U.S. military than the combined impact of the Budget Control Act’s defense spending cuts worsened by us operating nine of the last 10 years under Continuing Resolutions – wasting copious amounts of precious taxpayer dollars.’

“More military members died in training accidents last year than in combat. This underscores the alarming state of training and maintenance caused by years of budgetary neglect.

“Funding the armed forces through stop-gap measures puts severe pressure on efforts to fix training and maintenance shortfalls and endangers our troops, such as those killed during recent sea and aviation accidents.

“This agreement provides Congress the opportunity to set aside partisan brinkmanship, and to instead work together on a comprehensive funding measure that modernizes our defense capabilities, adequately resources the VA and its medical programs, provides adequate disaster assistance for communities rebuilding from recent storms, hurricanes, and fires,fully funds vital health programs including CHIP and Community Health Centers, reforms our immigration system, and invests in our infrastructure, economic development, education, and research.

“Although there remain a number of details to work out, it is better to work through these issues with the government open than with it closed. It is now time to responsibly follow through on this agreement and end our reliance on short-term budgetary fixes.”