Rep. Wittman to Newsmax: Funding Bill Shows Congress 'Budgeting by Crisis' (Newsmax/"Wake Up America")
By Sandy Fitzgerald | Friday, 03 December 2021 08:08 AM
Thursday's 11th-hour Senate vote on a continuing resolution to fund the government through February is an example of how Congress works by "budgeting by crisis," but now that the resolution has happened, it's time for Congress to work on getting its appropriations bills finished before the end of the fiscal year next September, Rep. Rob Wittman said Friday on Newsmax.
"We have the opportunity every year to do that," the Virginia Republican said on Newsmax's "Wake Up America." "Instead of going home in August and the first week in September, Congress needs to stay in town to get all 12 of these appropriations bills done."
Thursday evening, the Senate voted by 69-28 for the stopgap spending bill, which funds the federal government through Feb 18. The vote came after Senate leaders defused a standoff by a group of Republicans who had threatened to block a request to expedite a final vote on the spending bill because of federal vaccine mandate funding.
Wittman on Friday said he's advocated for years that legislation, the Stay on Schedule Act, be passed to require members of Congress to remain in town until all appropriations bills are completed.
However, Congress finds itself in "crisis management" every year, said Wittman.
"It's completely avoidable," he said. "We need to do the work of the nation and not abdicate our responsibilities."
Meanwhile, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is on track next year to have the least number of voting days in modern congressional history, with the House scheduled to vote on only 100 days in the second half of Congress next year, reports Yahoo News. This year, there were 103 voting days.
"This schedule is indicative of what the Democrats are not doing, and that is not doing the work of the nation," Wittman said. "People expect us to be in Washington getting legislation passed and having the debates on critical issues for the nation, our nation's defense, and our nation's finances. When you shorten the schedule like this for the fewest legislating days in the history of Congress, this is an indication of her resolve to try to get the nation's work done."
The schedule doesn't have Congress in town for any days next October and only two weeks in September, he added, but members "should be there to get the nation's work done and to get these appropriations bills done."
However, Wittman said he doesn't know if Pelosi will step down after next year or will run again, but he does think it will be "very difficult" for her to get the 218 votes needed to pass all 12 appropriations bills, even if an omnibus budget bill is brought.
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