Daily Brief 10.10.13

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Washington, October 10, 2013 | comments
Daily Brief 10.10.13

Debt Limit
Over the last thirty years every major deficit reduction package has been tied to the debt limit, and that is why House Republicans announced today that we are willing to pass a six week temporary suspension of the debt limit to allow time for the House and Senate to sit down with the President and address the true drivers of our debt. In fact, as a recent report by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service suggests, the coupling of spending cuts and reforms with debt limit votes goes back to one of the earliest debt limit votes in 1921, just 4 years after the debt limit was first created.  
To begin this process, a group of 18 House Republicans went to the White House today to meet with President Obama to discuss funding our government, as well as the upcoming debt ceiling deadline.  The American people expect elected officials to sit down at the table and find solutions to the pressing fiscal issues of our day.  As we have made abundantly clear over the past few weeks, House Republicans stand ready to work out our differences with Senate Democrats and the President to institute fiscally responsible policies that will bring long-term solvency to our budget.   

Government Funding
House Republicans continued our efforts to reopen the government today with passage of H.J.Res.79, the Border Security and Safety Act.  This bill, which would provide funding for the border security programs at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), represents the twentieth time that the House has acted since September 20 to fund all or parts of the federal government.  This bill is now the twentieth vote the House has held to fund the federal government and the twentieth day the upper Chamber has ignored the will of the American people and refused to act in the best interest of the American people by coming to the table.

As with many of these bills, however, the Border Security and Safety Act would not have been necessary had the Senate simply followed regular order and taken up H.R. 2217,  the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2014, which passed the House on June 6 and would have funded all DHS operations through the entire 2014 fiscal year. 

Harry Reid has continually stated that the Senate will not take up the 20 measures passed by the House in the past two and a half weeks, calling our piecemeal approach to fund the government a nonstarter.  But a piecemeal approach to funding our government, through annual appropriations bills, is how our Framers created Congress to work.  As Article I, Section 9 of the Constitution makes clear, “No money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law." 

While funding our government through Continuing Resolutions (CRs), rather than the 12 annual appropriations bills, has become the norm during Harry Reid’s tenure as Senate Majority Leader, his refusal to even consider the House’s piecemeal approach, or sit down with House negotiators to work on a broader CR, flies in the face of the constitutional framework for Congress to approve spending bills. 

The House will continue to fulfill our constitutional duty to approve spending measures, and we remain at the negotiating table waiting for the Senate to join us to reopen the government. 

1391 =  # of days since the Senate fulfilled their Constitutional duty and passed a single standalone annual appropriations bill   
=  # of days that Harry Reid has failed our veterans by not fully funding VA
=  # of days Harry Reid has failed to protect our borders by not funding the Department of Homeland Security
=  # of days Harry Reid has failed to responsibly fund the Department of Energy, including national security provisions related to our nuclear arsenal
=  # of days Harry Reid has failed to fund DoD and uphold military readiness 
=  # of days Harry Reid has failed to fund all government operations and put furloughed employees back to work
=  # of days the Senate has joined the House at the negotiating table

Telephone Town Hall Reminder
I invite all constituents to join me today for a telephone town hall.  Please see call-in details below.  I hope you can join.    

Congressman Jeff Miller
Telephone Town Hall
5:45p.m. CDT
Call-in Number:  (855)-756-7520 Ext.22799#


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