Members of the House Democratic Caucus Join Public Interest Groups to Call on House Leadership to Bring a Clean Spending Bill to the Floor

Washington, DC –(ENEWSPF)–November 19, 2015.  Today members of the House Democratic Caucus joined public interest groups and progressive organizations to call on House Leadership to reject divisive policy riders in the FY 2016 Omnibus and to bring a clean spending bill to the floor.

More than 160 Members of Congress signed a letter to House Leadership calling on them to prevent another unnecessary government shutdown by rejecting poison-pill provisions and partisan brinksmanship.

The full text of the letter can be found here.

Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-IL, said, “With only eight legislative days remaining until our government shuts down, it’s time for Republicans to stop the games and pass a clean funding bill without any ‘riders’ whatsoever. This means no partisan policy provisions that attack women’s reproductive rights, undermine the Affordable Care Act, are anti-labor, are anti-consumer, weaken environmental provisions, or any such toxic provisions that have nothing to do with funding our government. Today, I’m proud to stand with over 160 of my colleagues in a promise to vote against any legislation that contains such partisan provisions. With such little time left, Speaker Ryan must stand up to the reckless voices in his conference and work with Democrats to pass a clean funding bill.”

Rep. G. K. Butterfield, D-NC, said, “It is critical that we bring a clean spending bill to the floor if we want to prevent another government shutdown. These policy riders prioritize special interests and politics over the needs of hardworking American families, and they would cut much needed funding to transportation, education, law enforcement, and to our veterans. We have an obligation to build on the progress of the Bipartisan Budget Act and move America forward.”

Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-AZ, said, “Republicans are threatening to shut down the government by pursuing an extreme agenda through radical policy provisions. A government shutdown would hurt countless disabled veterans, disadvantaged children, small businesses, and working families across the country. It’s time for this kind of partisan brinksmanship to end. There are only eight legislative days remaining until our government shuts down. House Leadership should act immediately to introduce and pass a clean funding bill with no riders.”

Rep. Patrick E. Murphy, D-FL, said, “Continuing to insert partisan policies into must-pass legislation only serves to further divide our nation. We should instead be working together to tackle the many serious challenges facing our country. I am hopeful that following the passage of the two-year bipartisan budget agreement last month, Congress will once again come together and do the right thing for the American people by passing a clean, long-term funding measure to at long last put an end to this trend of governing by crisis and provide much-needed certainty to our economy.”

Rep. Doris Matsui, D-CA, said, “Using the appropriations process to achieve extreme objectives through radical policy riders is irresponsible and shortsighted. As Democrats, we will continue to protect the American people from dangerous cuts to essential services, while working to keep the government open and avert a devastating shutdown.”

Dana Singiser, Vice President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America said, “Opponents of women’s health are trying to co-opt the appropriations process in order to strip health care from millions. Time after time they have tried, and failed, to ban patients from seeking care at Planned Parenthood and deny low income women access to basic health services – and now they want to expand abortion restrictions and allow insurance plans to deny coverage of services based on religious objections. The American people are sick of these political games.”

Sasha Bruce, Senior Vice President of Campaigns and Strategy, NARAL Pro-Choice America said, “Passing a clean budget – one with no restrictions on women’s reproductive freedom – is an opportunity to keep our government and vital programs running, but an extreme minority of the GOP has been monopolizing Congress’ time and wasting taxpayer dollars to further their anti-choice agenda at every turn. Despite the fact that seven in 10 voters believe in reproductive freedom, regardless of their personal views, the GOP is obsessed with restricting women’s rights, and the budget shouldn’t be another vehicle for them to do so. Instead of adding more obstacles to finalizing the budget, members of Congress need to leave their ideological agenda at the door – Americans can’t afford to wait.”

Lee Saunders, President of AFSCME said, “Americans need relief from the endless cycle of budget brinksmanship and sequester caps that continue to hurt our communities. Congress must pass a clean budget that puts working families first and invests in the crumbling roads, bridges, schools and other vital resources that we all rely on.”

Gene Karpinski, President of the League of Conservation Voters said, “The American people deserve a budget that fully funds the environmental safeguards that protect public health and preserve the clean air and water our families depend on. Ideological riders that protect the profits of big polluters and block initiatives with widespread public support – like the Clean Water Rule, Clean Power Plan and endangered species protections – have no place in this process. We are calling on Congress to pass a clean budget.”

Robert Weissman, President of Public Citizen said, “The hundreds of riders included in the government spending bills represent Washington’s deep corruption at its worst. Stealthy, out-of-order maneuvers are being used to force through unpopular legislative provisions, imposing enormous harm on the American public to benefit corporate donors. The examples are legion and include riders that block consumers from winning an effective right to sue banks that rip them off, weaken an important tobacco control measure, stop the FDA from ensuring the safety of generic drugs, block crucial truck safety rules and derail rules that would require large corporations to disclose their political spending.”

Lisa Donner, President of Americans for Financial Reform, said “Attaching Wall Street deregulation measures or other radical riders to “must-pass” spending bills hands an early Holiday Bonus to Wall Street. Forcing dangerous and unpopular proposals through Congress with a minimum of open debate or public scrutiny is undemocratic. We call on Congress to pass a clean budget.”