Source: Bipartisan Policy Center

Vote Explanation for the Senate Amendment to H.R. 5325 — Continuing Resolution for Fiscal Year 2017

When Paul Ryan became Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, he made a commitment to pass all twelve appropriations bills to fund the various agencies and programs of the federal government. The last time Congress was able to accomplish this successfully was in 1996. After my Democratic colleague offered an amendment to one of the appropriations bills to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people from discrimination in federal contracting, House Republicans reneged on their promise to pass appropriations bills. Civil Rights, affirmed by the Supreme Court, apparently interfere with their agenda.

Consequently, this week the House voted on the Fiscal Year 2017 Continuing Resolution (CR), which maintains government funding at its current spend rate through December 9, 2016. This legislation also provides $1.1 billion for federal agencies to respond to the Zika virus in the continental United States, in U.S. territories, and in other nations and includes $7.7 billion for military construction projects and $74.4 billion to fund programs at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

While I voted in support of the bill because of the provisions to fund the VA and address the growing threat of Zika, it is unfortunate that once again, Republican House leadership waited until the last minute to keep the government open.