WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent (PA-15), a member of the Committee on Appropriations, issued the following statement after voting for the Department of Defense and Further Additional Continuing Appropriations Act (H.R. 1363), a bill to prevent a government shutdown and provide long-term funding for the American military:
“Our nation is on the brink of an avoidable and potentially destructive government shutdown. I voted for H.R. 1363 because the legislation will prevent a shutdown, supply long-term support for our troops, continue to cut excessive federal spending, and provide ample time for Congressional leaders and the President to finally reach an agreement on funding the government through the remainder of Fiscal Year 2011.
“First and foremost, it is unacceptable that members of our Armed Forces and their families face potential delays in receiving the pay they’ve earned simply because Congress has been unable to come to an agreement on spending. H.R. 1363 will fund the Department of Defense (DOD) through the end of the fiscal year, ensuring service members who risk their lives defending our nation are paid and providing Secretary Gates the stability he needs to conduct our military operations overseas.
“The American people rightfully demand Members of Congress work in good faith to ensure the federal government runs effectively and efficiently. Allowing even a temporary shutdown is a failure of our most basic responsibility as elected officials. If enacted, this weeklong Continuing Resolution will not only avert a shutdown, but give Congressional leaders the necessary time to finalize a belated long-term funding agreement.
“Illustrating our genuine commitment to reigning in excessive federal spending, this bill also cuts $12 billion in discretionary spending over the course of a single week. Nearly all cuts outlined in H.R. 1363 were included in the long-term Continuing Resolution (H.R. 1) that passed the House in February. Many of these cuts were also featured in President Obama’s budget requests and the Senate’s alternative to H.R. 1.
“Finally, let us not forget the reason we are in this otherwise preventable situation centers on the inability of the Democratic leadership in the House and Senate to pass a Fiscal Year 2011 budget or complete work on any of the 12 appropriations bills in 2010.”