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Thursday, January 18, 2018

Higgins: 'Chaos is no way to run a government'

All WNY News     Thursday, January 18, 2018    


As the federal government, once again, stands at the precipice of a shutdown, Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) calls for an end to the chaos and stresses that Americans deserve better.

"Americans are demanding and deserving of action, but what they are getting is a farce that undermines basic truth, ideals, and decency," said Higgins.  "Enough is enough.  We must find common ground for the common good."

The federal fiscal year begins on October 1st and each year Congress has a budgetary responsibility to approve year-long appropriation bills to authorize funding for federal departments and programs.  Because no consensus has been realized on top line spending levels, over the last four months, the Majority has introduced four "Continuing Resolution" (CR) bills that kick the can for annual fiscal planning to a future date, first extending federal obligations through December 9, 2017, then through December 22, 2017, followed by an extension through (tomorrow) January 19, 2018, and now this proposed CR which would fund the government through February 16, 2018.

The current Continuing Resolution (H.R. 195) also includes funding to support the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) through 2023.  The program provides health insurance for approximately 9 million children annually, who would otherwise fall through the cracks, because their family income is just above Medicaid eligibility.  Prior to the vote, President Trump tweeted opposition to including CHIP in the CR.

Continued infighting between the Republican controlled House of Representatives, Senate and White House on CHIP, Dreamers and budget spending is pushing the federal government closer to a shutdown. 

Higgins addressed the continued chaos and failed leadership on the House Floor:
"Mr. Speaker, a Continuing Resolution to extend federal spending for one month may not pass because the President tweeted that he does not support funding for health care for nine million American kids.  
"This is a terrible incitement on Congressional leadership that is again cowering to a petulant, uninformed and impulsive President - a President who is making a mockery of Congress, a co-equal branch of the federal government. And that Congressional Republican leadership is complicit is a national embarrassment.  
"I say Congress should roll the President and force him to veto children's healthcare.
"Mr. President, the Continuing Resolution is a failure to act, is a failure to decide, it is a failure to lead and it represents gross negligence as it relates to the basic duty of the institution of the United States Congress.  
"It's a sad day, and once again Congress capitulates to a petulant and pouting President."  


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