January 20, 2018

Udall Joins Bipartisan Vote Against GOP’s Insufficient Short-term Budget, Pushes for Good Faith Bipartisan Budget Negotiations

Congress should focus on bipartisan funding agreement, solution for DREAMers and other federal funding needs

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Tom Udall joined Democrats and Republicans in voting 50-49 against the House Republicans’ continuing resolution to temporarily fund the government through Feb. 16 without addressing the nation’s critical priorities. The Republican bill fails to provide a longterm bipartisan budget agreement necessary to provide certainty for New Mexico’s military bases, national labs, public lands and other critical state priorities, such as veterans' programs and funding for opioid addiction treatment and prevention. It doesn’t include protection for 800,000 DREAMers – including 7,000 in New Mexico – whose legal status is in jeopardy because President Trump canceled the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. The bill would further weaken the Affordable Care Act, putting more New Mexicans at risk of losing health insurance they depend on. And it fails to include disaster assistance for Puerto Rico, Texas and other regions still recovering from last year’s devastating storms and wildfires.

Because the Republicans' continuing resolution failed to receive the required 60 votes, it was defeated. As a result, the government shut down at midnight.

Udall released the following statement:

“Every day, over 45,000 New Mexicans work hard at our national labs, military bases, national parks and other federal installations and related contractors. They need — and deserve — thoughtful long-term budgets that will enable them to plan ahead and do the important work of keeping our nation safe, managing our land and water, and meeting the needs of our citizens. The Republicans control the House, the Senate and the White House, but they have failed to pass the kind of long-term budgets that the members of the military say they desperately need. The Republicans’ four-week continuing resolution would have punted those decisions for the fourth time since the start of the fiscal year, with no end in sight. It also failed to offer a real solution to desperate needs, including protection for 800,000 DREAMers; certainty for millions of families who depend on community health centers; the Special Diabetes Program for Indians; and disaster assistance for Puerto Rico, Texas and other states still reeling from last year’s hurricanes and wildfires.

“We must do better than this, and that is why I voted no tonight. But let’s be clear: the only person who has said he wanted to shut down the government was President Trump. Democrats are ready and willing to come to the table to work with Republicans on a responsible long-term budget agreement. And Democrats already have been hard at work, with a growing number of Republican senators, on an agreement for DREAMers that also met all of the president’s demands. It’s unfortunate that President Trump so far has been unable to take yes for an answer and has preferred to pander to extreme right-wing factions in his own party.

“Responsibility for this government shutdown is on the shoulders of Republicans and President Trump — New Mexicans and the American people need them to show some leadership, come to the table and negotiate in good faith.”