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Wittman Leads Letter to Speaker, Cancel Recess

Wittman, Biggs, Gallagher say to stay in session until all appropriations bills are complete

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Washington, June 6, 2018 | comments

Wittman Leads Letter to Speaker, Cancel Recess
Wittman, Biggs, Gallagher say to stay in session until all appropriations bills are complete

WASHINGTON – Today, Congressmen Rob Wittman led a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan calling for the House to remain in-session through August to complete critical legislative items, the most pressing being the 12 appropriations bills. Representatives Andy Biggs and Mike Gallagher also joined Rep. Wittman in signing the letter. With only 38 session days left between today and the annual August recess, they believe we must stay in Washington until the work is complete.

“We urge you and the House leadership to reconsider the legislative calendar and to cancel the August recess if the House has not addressed the many critical issues facing our Nation and the American people,” the members wrote. “We would like to offer our full support to expedite floor consideration for funding bills, even if we must work nights, weekends, and forgo the August recess to avoid another last-minute funding battle like we encountered in March.”

The members acknowledged the importance of district work periods, but believe it is critical that Congress get the work of the people done. Although the Senate has already decided to stay in session three extra weeks in August, they asked the Speaker to urge the Senate to remain in session until the appropriations process is complete.

“We stand ready to work around the clock to get the government funded before we break in August, well before the September 30 deadline. We, and the American people, expect Congress to work tirelessly to restore American greatness,” they wrote.

All signers are cosponsors of Rep. Wittman’s Stay on Schedule Resolution, which says that the House must stay in session if all twelve appropriations bill are not passed by July 31. Rep. Wittman has been the sponsor of this legislation for years.

Letter here and below:

The Honorable Paul Ryan                             
Speaker                                               
United States House of Representatives           
Washington, D.C. 20515                                 

Dear Speaker Ryan:

We urge you and the House leadership to reconsider the legislative calendar and to cancel the August recess if the House has not addressed the many critical issues facing our Nation and the American people. We would like to offer our full support to expedite floor consideration for funding bills, even if we must work nights, weekends, and forgo the August recess to avoid another last-minute funding battle like we encountered in March.

The House has yet to complete consideration of any of the twelve annual appropriations bills on the floor. With fewer than forty legislative days until the end of the fiscal year, Congress should remain in Washington until the work is complete. The House should immediately begin floor consideration of all funding bills, so they can be openly debated through regular order and sent to the U.S. Senate for immediate consideration.

We appreciate that district work periods allow Members to visit with folks back in their respective communities, but it is now becoming a habit for Congress to abandon a long “to do” list in the rush to get out of town. It is easy to anticipate that this August will be no exception.

But Congress has not done its job. It has not completed the work of the people, including the FY2019 appropriations process. Our constituents expect us to stay and finish the job. We stand ready to work around the clock to get the government funded before we break in August, well before the September 30 deadline. We, and the American people, expect Congress to work tirelessly to restore American greatness.

These critical national priorities, especially funding our nation’s defense, are too important to delay. We ask that you keep the House in session to finish the business of the people. Furthermore, I ask that you urge the Senate to also remain in session until the appropriations process is complete.

Congressman Rob Wittman represents the 1st District of Virginia. He serves on the House Natural Resources Committee and the House Armed Services Committee, where he is the Chairman of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee.

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