Vote Explanation for Concurring in the Senate Amendment to H.R. 2028 — Making Further Continuing Appropriations for Fiscal Year 2017
I voted in support of the FY17 Continuing Resolution (CR), which extends for four and a half months — through April 28, 2017 — current FY 2016 level appropriations for all government operations. Let me be clear, these short-term patches are NOT how Congress should be funding the federal government. This bill is yet another example of congressional Republican leadership’s inability to work in a bipartisan way to pass an annual budget.
However, the CR contains important provisions including $872 million for the bipartisan 21st Century Cures Act, which will help local and federal governments combat the opioid epidemic and accelerate the development and delivery of cures to diseases and medical conditions. Massachusetts, including the Sixth District, has been at the center of this opioid crisis, and the money in this legislation will provide our communities with vital resources to combat this epidemic.
The bill also includes $5.8 billion in Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) funding for defense priorities, with $5.1 billion dedicated to support counterterrorism operations, including salaries and mission support for additional troops in Afghanistan and efforts to defeat ISIL.
With the funding for the federal government expected to run out at midnight tonight, it is shameful that Republicans have waited until the last minute to provide funding for the many government programs and activities upon which Americans at home and abroad depend.