Wittman to Pelosi: Keep Us in Town
WASHINGTON – Congressman Rob Wittman (VA-01) released this statement after sending a letter to Speaker Pelosi urging her to keep the House in session this weekend:
“It is absolutely critical that we reopen the government. I believe the House needs to stay in session, including weekends, until we can pass legislation to both secure our border and reopen the government – both are national imperatives. I stand ready and willing to work with anyone who will come to the table to solve the problem before us, for real results.
“I am disappointed in Congress for allowing our funding decisions to get to this critical point and for not being able to come to an agreement on how to move forward without allowing a partial government shutdown. This situation was completely avoidable, and it all stems back to a broken budgeting system. For years now, I have introduced the No Budget No Pay Act that says if Congress doesn’t pass a budget on time Members don’t get a paycheck, and the Stay on Schedule Resolution that says if Congress doesn’t pass all appropriations bill by July 31, Members don’t get a vacation. We can’t continue to find ourselves in these completely avoidable, crisis situations. We must work for a permanent solution that will provide a path to fiscal certainty for our federal agencies.
“I will continue this work to reform how Congress works, and ending business as usual in Washington starts with passing budgets and spending bills on time. I look forward to working with my colleagues to come to a realistic solution that will gain the support of both the Senate and the president, so we can end this partial government shutdown as soon as possible.”
The text of the letter Congressman Wittman sent to the Speaker on Thursday, January 10, 2019, pushing to keep the House in session to finish the business of the people is below:
Dear Speaker Pelosi:
I urge you and the House leadership to reconsider the legislative calendar and keep the House in session until we can pass legislation to both secure our border and reopen the government – both are national imperatives.
I appreciate that the weekends allow Members to visit with constituents back in their respective communities, but we cannot abandon our constitutional responsibility to fund the operations of our government and the security of all Americans. Our federal employees are not getting paid, our Coast Guard members are not getting paid, and our border remains unsecure. I believe Members need to stay in town until the job is done. Any legislation that comes before the House should be a realistic solution that will gain the support of both the Senate and the president. I support a comprehensive approach to combating illegal immigration; we must have a wall or physical barriers along the southern border. But we also need to leverage new technologies like unmanned aerial vehicles and reduce the number of visa overstays by implementing a mandatory biometric entry/exit system.
When I am working in Virginia, the one thing I hear repeatedly is “you all need to do your jobs and get something done up there in Washington.” But Congress has not done its job. It has not completed the work of the people and our constituents expect us to stay and finish the job. We need to put partisanship aside and pass an appropriations package that both opens the government and enhances border security.
These critical national priorities are too important to delay. I ask that you would keep the House in session to finish the business of the people.
Congressman Rob Wittman represents the 1st District of Virginia. He serves on the House Natural Resources Committee and the House Armed Services Committee.
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