Democrats Pushing Country Towards Shutdown for Political Gain

Zika posterToday on the Senate floor, I discussed the latest bill to responsibly fund the government and provide $1.1 billion in anti-Zika funding for states like Texas. Excerpts of my remarks are below, and video of the speech can be found here.

We're now staring at a Friday deadline to keep the government open. And of course this was their design all along, to drag their feet and delay and turn from one excuse to another in order to keep from actually working in a bipartisan way to appropriate the money to fund the government so the government would continue to function.

They said they wanted a clean continuing resolution.

Well, we'll soon have a chance to vote on that clean continuing resolution after lunch. This continuing resolution that the Democratic Leader said we could pass and leave in ten minutes, this continuing resolution funds the government at levels this chamber has already agreed to.

It also includes resources for bipartisan priorities like veterans programs, flood control, fighting the opioid epidemic that's devastating communities across our country, and dealing with prevention of the Zika virus, something the Democrats said they wanted money for since last May.

They still talk a lot about it and the urgent need to get it done while dragging their feet the whole way.

I'm glad the Senior Senator from Florida, a member of the Democratic caucus, has already said that he'll support this clean C.R. in light of the public health threat Zika poses to his constituents in Florida.

And I hope more of his colleagues follow his lead and vote to get on this continuing resolution so we can get our work done and so the money can go to those communities like those in his state and my state that need it most. Now some of our Democratic colleagues have said they don't like the continuing resolution because it doesn't allow for funding for the water problems in Flint, Michigan. But I have to say, Mr. President, this is just another manufactured excuse. It ignores reality.

The chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, the senior senator from Oklahoma, has made clear he's committed to sending this water resources development bill, including funding for Flint, to the President for his signature.

In The Washington Post, the Senior Senator from Montana, who heads the Democratic Campaign Committee, gave us just a momentary glimpse into our Democratic friends' playbook this election cycle. He said that in order to win more seats in the United States Senate, Democratic candidates need to show that ‘Republicans haven't done anything.’ That's the campaign chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee saying in order for them to win seats, they have to show that under Republican leadership nothing has been done.

Democrats are marching us down a path that leads to a shutdown in order to gain some sort of political advantage. What a terrible thing to do to this country, to be brought to the brink purely for some perceived, temporary political gain.

When it comes to funding the government, when it comes to dealing with the potential Zika crisis in the country, I hope our colleagues on the other side will reconsider their decision to block the vote this afternoon. We're ready to move forward with a solution that our Democratic colleagues have called for: A clean continuing resolution.


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