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King Statement on Senate’s Failure to Proceed with Transportation and Housing Appropriations Bills

August 2, 2013


WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Angus King (I-ME) released the following statement today after the Senate failed, by a vote of 54-43, to invoke cloture on S. 1243, the Transportation and Housing and Urban Development appropriations bill. Although the motion received a clear majority, it failed to get the 60 votes necessary under Senate rules.


Senator King said:


“For years, Republicans in the Senate have criticized Democrats for governing irresponsibly by conducting business outside of regular order and passing short-term funding resolutions that jeopardize any potential for economic growth. They have argued that legislation needs to move through the committee process in an open and transparent way and then proceed to the floor for debate and amendment and final passage. It’s an argument I agreed with and one that resonated with the American people who demanded to see their government work through an open process.


“Throughout this Congress, however, the majority has made an attempt to return to regular order, moving the first budget in four years through the committee process, of which I was a part, and to the floor where more than one hundred amendments were considered before the resolution was finally passed in the early hours of the morning. Yet rather than proceeding to a conference with the House to reconcile the starkly different budgets, a handful of Republicans have stalled the process with multiple objections, and now the path forward remains murky at best.


“Today’s vote to not move forward with the Transportation and Housing appropriations bill is another example of that same type of unacceptable obstructionism. Senator Collins and Senator Murray moved the Transportation and Housing appropriations bill through committee in a bipartisan manner and to the floor in an open and fair process, and I applaud their leadership. Senator Collins has acted in the highest tradition of the Senate in this matter, putting her country before party, and I deeply respect her for it. That our Republican colleagues filibustered the legislation, after years of having called for this type of process, is disappointing and truly regrettable.


“Because Congress has not passed a budget, and because Congress has not passed appropriations bills, we are now headed directly for another short-term, haphazard continuing resolution that does nothing to address sequestration and that severely limits our government’s ability to manage its resources. It will continue to detrimentally affect programs like Head Start and impact our military preparedness, which will continue to face funding restrictions regardless of the country’s changing needs.


“I don’t always agree with the Democrats, including most recently during the student loan interest rate debate, but there are times when we have to just call a spade a spade. I urge my colleagues – again – to end the political posturing, to pass a responsible budget, and to pass appropriations bills. The American people sent us here to get things done, and accomplishing those two things would not only be a significant boon to our economy, but would also demonstrate to our constituents that we can govern responsibly.”



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