“Operating two weeks at a time – under constant threat of a shutdown – is no way to govern.  We need to sit down and negotiate a real budget solution, not kick the can down the road by cutting programs that didn’t contribute to our long-term debt, won’t help us get out of it, and may require us to spend even more in the future.

“Sadly, this proposal will have almost no effect on the overall deficit.  It doesn’t deal with the largest pieces of our budget, as it doesn’t touch defense spending or entitlement reform.  It also doesn’t deal with revenue losses like those caused by the irresponsible tax breaks for the wealthy that were extended last December.

“We rejected the House Republicans’ long-term budget proposal because it would devastate millions of families and small business owners across the country.  And I voted against this proposal today because it was simply a gimmick – a two-week version of that longer proposal that focuses cuts on a small portion of the overall budget that disproportionately affect Washington workers and families.

“I know that we will have to make painful cuts in some areas. I have accepted that many of the locally targeted investments that have brought federal funds back to projects in Washington state won’t be available in the coming years. I have also worked with other Democrats to support deep but responsible cuts to the President’s 2011 budget.

“We need to come together and find common ground.  But we simply cannot slash investments in education and in our workers that will create jobs, ensure that our workers have the skills to fill those jobs, and grow our economy.”