Members call for budget negotiations to be scheduled immediately to avoid an unnecessary manufactured crisis in the fall
Letter follows months of repeated requests from Senate Democrats for bipartisan budget negotiations – Leader McConnell has shown no desire to address serious issue that would have real consequences for country
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) joined the full Senate Democratic Caucus in urging Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to schedule the first round of bipartisan budget negotiations immediately to prevent another totally predictable and completely preventable fiscal crisis in the Fall. The call was formally made in a letter to Leader McConnell signed by all 46 members of the Senate Democratic Caucus.
In the letter, the Senators stressed their deep concern for the fact that, with less than two months left in the fiscal year, Leader McConnell has yet to schedule bipartisan negotiations to ensure a budget agreement is reached that restores sequester-level cuts in FY16 appropriations bills and the government is kept open. For months, Senate Democrats have repeatedly demanded that Leader McConnell and Republican Leadership schedule such negotiations, yet the requests have been met with a lack of interest in addressing this serious issue.
At the end of 2013, Senator Murray worked with Republicans to pass the two-year Bipartisan Budget Act, which prevented another government shutdown and restored investments in education, research, defense jobs and other Washington state priorities. Her budget deal expires at the end of this fiscal year.
Full text of the letter is below:
The Honorable Mitch McConnell
S-230 The Capitol
Washington, DC 20150
Dear Leader McConnell:
There are less than two months left in the fiscal year, and we are deeply concerned by the fact that negotiations to craft a bipartisan budget agreement have not yet begun. With the end of the fiscal year looming, we urge you to immediately schedule bipartisan budget negotiations so that we can work together over the coming weeks to avoid another manufactured crisis.
Inaction and failure to responsibly restore sequester-level cuts in FY16 appropriations bills will have real consequences for our country. That is why we are eager to start working as soon as possible to negotiate a compromise that will keep our nation and economy strong, and keep the government open.
With the existence of a clear and urgent deadline for action, we believe it would be unwise to wait until after the Congress returns from the August state work period – just 23 days before the end of the federal fiscal year – to begin talks on a path forward. We cannot afford to wait, only to let delay and inaction bring us to the brink of another totally predictable and completely preventable crisis.
Richard J. Durbin
Charles E. Schumer
Patrick J. Leahy
Robert P. Casey, Jr.
Mark R. Warner
Mazie K. Hirono
Edward J. Markey